Tuesday, 8 January 2019

Health Matters - NHS Long Tern Plan; Colds & Flu; Public Meeting JAN 29

As it’s New Year let’s start with a quote -  May all your troubles last as long as your New Year's resolutions. (Oscar Wilde)

Four Issues in the first DriveTime of 2019

  • NHS Long Term Plan (overview)
  • NHS Long Term Plan (locally)
  • Colds and Flu
  • Hospital reconfiguration

1. NHS Long Term Plan (overview)– The NHS has just published its new 10-year plan – it’s the way it intends to use the extra money that the Government committed in the summer (3.4% a year over the next 5 years compared with 2.2% over the last 5!). It’s 137 pages long but it can be boiled down to seven key aspects:-

  • Fixing A&E Wait Times – same day visits up from 20% to 33%
  • Earlier Detection of Cancer – at the moment early detection is around 50%; the goal is to get that up to at least 75%
  • Care in the Community – early discharge, pooling budgets, and primary care budgets to be increased for the first time in years!
  • Digital Revolution – digital technology and wearables offer massive benefits
  • Personalised Medicine – smarter medicines can be tailored to individual circumstances
  • Wellbeing – to stop people needing the health service!
  • Mental Health – significantly improved access.

It’s a hugely ambitious plan; but they’ve done the easy bit, now they have to implement it! The theory is done, now it’s down to practice!

To see the Plan for yourself, go to

2. NHS Long Term Plan (Locally)
It’s been analysis paralysis in our area for the last five years! First there was “Your Care Your Future”; then that was rolled into the Sustainability & Transformation Plan (with E&N Herts and West Essex); now they’ve re-invented the wheel for the third time. But the core problems are still there:-

  • Poor Estate – the facilities that we have in West Herts
  • Workforce limitations – for example the lack of GPs and Nurses
  • Lack of Capital Funding – to sort out the hospital situation locally
  • Poor Use of IT – the digital revolution is all very well but they’re still using faxes!
  • Fragmentation – issues like Nascot Lawn and competitive tendering have made collaboration difficult.

As ever – the devil’s in the detail!

3. Colds, Flu and Complications
This is the time of year for colds, flu and the complications that come from them. The problem we have is that we typically don’t know how serious they are! So here are some very useful web sites

4. Public Meeting on Hospitals
There’s an open meeting at the Stanborough Centre in St Albans Road, Watford, to discuss the latest position on the plan for Watford, St Albans and Hemel Hospitals; it will take place on 29 January from 7pm to 9pm. The event, organised by West Hertfordshire Hospitals Trust and Herts Valleys Clinical Commissioning Group will share details of how the options for hospital development are shaping up and will explain the process for evaluating and shortlisting options.

If you’d like to go just email communications.hvccg@nhs.net, and let them know if you have any particular accessibility needs.   The Stanborough Centre address is St Albans Road, Watford, WD25 9JL

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