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We spoke to Chief Executive Suzanne Rankin about the NHS Long Term Plan and what it will mean for ASPH.

“Since our last edition of Aspire the NHS has launched the Long Term Plan, setting out the vision for delivering high quality 21st century care for all generations over the next ten years, as well as investing, supporting and developing the current and future NHS workforce.

“The good news is that the Government and Treasury have recognised that more funding is needed and an extra £20.5 billion has been committed for the NHS over the next five years. Essentially the NHS Long Term Plan sets out the approach of how best to capitalise on the opportunity this additional funding gives.

“The main emphasis of the plan sees a shift of priority to out of hospital care, primary, community and mental health services with an equivalent shift in funding. It also pays attention to improving clinical outcomes and reducing health inequalities.

“These plans may not sound immediately beneficial or supportive to an acute provider like ASPH but as the plans come to fruition we will see how helpful this is to us. It must be hoped that these advances will help patients receive care in the right place which should reduce the pressure on our hospitals.

“Importantly the plan speaks of opportunities for preventative care and health. The work that we have been doing with North West Surrey Integrated Care Partnership and Surrey Heartlands Integrated Care Service feels much more forward thinking as we look beyond the usual suspects such as smoking cessation and obesity all of which are important. As many of you will know we are also looking at how we can work with the partnerships to address the wider determinants of health and wellbeing, such as housing and education.

“It is encouraging to see that the ‘Together We Care’ Trust Strategy, the North West Surrey Integrated Care Service plan and Surrey Heartlands Integrated Care Partnership plan are largely consistent with the NHS Long Term Plan. As well as work we have been doing with other partner organisations around primary and mental health care, which will be supported further with the additional funding.

“We are expecting more detail on how the workforce issues will be addressed in due course and of course this is really important for Team ASPH. Whilst the NHS Long Term Plan may seem complex and very strategic I wanted to bring it to your attention and give you the opportunity to look at the resources and consider what it means for us as a team, as NHS colleagues, as members of the public and taxpayers. We are awaiting some communication materials from NHS England and will come and share more of this information with you in due course, so watch this space.”