YP Letters: NHS plan will help preserve the nation’s most prized asset, writes Health Minister

Theresa May set out the Government's NHS plan this week.
Theresa May set out the Government's NHS plan this week.
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From: Stephen Hammond MP, Minister of State for Health.

THE NHS touches all our lives at some point. Whether that is new lives, brought safely into the world every day at hospitals like Jimmy’s in Leeds, or lives about to end, saved by world-leading medicine and our extraordinary emergency services at the Leeds General Infirmary.

And across the country more than one million hardworking staff dedicate their professional lives to the NHS. It isn’t just hospital services. The NHS is doing more now than ever before to help people to live longer in their communities and at home – joining up services and helping to tackle issues such as loneliness so rightly highlighted by this newspaper.

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In Yorkshire, you know the NHS is feeling the pressure. Our growing, ageing population, means more people living for longer, often with multiple complex conditions.

While this should be celebrated, it’s inescapable this is having an impact on our beloved NHS. Whether in Sheffield, York or Hull, the truth is we must act now to safeguard it for the future.

That’s why last year, as the NHS celebrated its 70th birthday, the Government announced it would be giving it an extra £20.5bn a year by 2023/4 to preserve its future.

The NHS belongs to us all, so it is right that taxpayers know how their hard-earned cash is being spent. This week, the NHS published a plan for the next 10 years, shaped by the clinicians and staff who know best.

So, what’s our vision? In short, by 2028, we will have a health service that continues to deliver world-class care, from cradle to grave.

Care that always starts with prevention, that is personalised and bolstered by cutting-edge medicine and technology. And of course, care delivered by the very best staff.

We will do more to keep people healthier for longer, so GP and community services – the bedrock of our NHS – will receive a funding injection of £4.5bn. The extra investment will also help prevent 150,000 heart attacks, strokes and dementia cases over the next 10 years. Through earlier detection and better treatment, 55,000 more people will survive cancer each year.

We will renew our commitment to achieve parity of esteem by introducing mental health waiting times targets for the first time ever, and hundreds of thousands more children and young people getting access to vital mental health support in schools. The NHS is rightly our most prized asset. Through this plan, we are taking steps to preserve it in Yorkshire and across the country.