NHS to focus on prevention 'could save 500,000 lives’

Tuesday 08th January 2019 14:02 EST

NHS bosses in England say a new 10-year plan could save up to 500,000 lives by focusing on prevention and early detection. GPs, mental health and community care will get the biggest funding increases. But unions are concerned that staffing shortages could undermine the ambitions - one in 11 posts are currently vacant.

The aim is to curb the reliance on hospitals, leading some senior doctors to warn they were facing a "near-on impossible task."

Society of Acute Medicine president Dr Nick Scriven said he was "staggered" by the plans given the problems facing hospitals.

Many trusts are missing all three key waiting time targets for A&E, cancer care and routine operations, and are struggling to balance the books.

The full details of the plan are to be unveiled later by NHS England chief executive Simon Stevens and Prime Minister Theresa May. But ahead of the publication, NHS England confirmed a third of the extra £20bn the NHS will get in 2023 will go on GPs, community care and mental health. Currently they account for less than a quarter of spending, while hospitals take up around half of the £114bn frontline budget.

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