DEMAND AN END TO POVERTY THIS GENERAL ELECTION
TAKE ACTION
News

The NHS’s long-term plan is focusing on prevention, just like The Big Issue

The new 4.5bn service model aims to stop 85,000 premature deaths in England each year by stopping problems from arising in the first place – just like The Big Issue does with homelessness

The NHS unveiled its new long-term plan with a focus that is familiar to The Big Issue – prevention.

We, at The Big Issue, aim to reduce homelessness by preventing people from falling into poverty in the first place and that approach is central to the health service’s new 4.5bn plans for England.

Prevention coupled with new technology and early detection methods will aim to stop an estimated 85,000 premature deaths each year as well as 150,000 heart attacks, strokes and dementia cases. The Diabetes Prevention Programme will also be expanded.

More than three million people will also be able to access new and improved stroke, respiratory and cardiac services over the next decade while neonatal care and integrated support for the elderly is also a consideration.

It is estimated that around 23,000 premature deaths and 50,000 hospital admissions will be prevented over the next decade by putting over 100,000 patients with heart problems through a healthy living and exercise programme every year. Mental health services have also been promised at least £2.3bn a year by 2023/24 to help around two million people who experience anxiety, depression or other mental health problems.

Big Issue founder John Bird has long called for prevention to play a prominent role in keeping the nation healthy, sparking a Twitter storm last year with his own call for an ‘NHS pledge’ that asked Brits to keep themselves healthy where possible to aid the health service.

Obesity, for example, is responsible for increasing cancer rates, making a person 2.5 times more likely to have high blood pressure and five times more likely to develop Type-2 diabetes, according to the Health Foundation. Obesity is responsible for an estimated 30,000 deaths each year.

He returns to the subject in this week’s Big Issue magazine, as he puts it, “I don’t know how we can ever get anywhere in life about wrongdoing, ill health, mental illness, if we don’t put an enormous effort into preventing stuff from happening.”

Speaking at today’s launch alongside Prime Minister, NHS England chief executive Simon Stevens said: “The NHS long-term plan keeps all that’s good about our health service and its place in our national life. It tackles head-on the pressures our staff face. And it sets a practical, costed, phased route map for the NHS’s priorities for care quality and outcomes improvement for the decade ahead.”

The new plan has been praised by charities British Heart Foundation, Macmillan and Mind.

“We are really pleased to see that mental health is such a key focus in the NHS long term plan and we welcome the £2.3bn set aside for mental health services,” said Paul Farmer, Mind chief executive. “This is the kind of sustained investment we need to see to put mental health on an equal footing with physical health and, if delivered, this plan will make a difference to the lives of thousands of people with mental health problems.

However, the Unite union has insisted that the new plan does not face up to ‘the grim reality of the cash crisis confronting the health service’.

“This new cash is, in reality, putting in the funding that the government removed a decade ago. ‘Smoke and mirrors’ is the name of the game,” said Unite national officer for health Colenzo Jarrett-Thorpe.

“The money that is now coming on stream is not enough to meet the ambitious targets to save the almost 500,000 lives outlined in the long-term plan.

Support the Big Issue

For over 30 years, the Big Issue has been committed to ending poverty in the UK. In 2024, our work is needed more than ever. Find out how you can support the Big Issue today.
Vendor martin Hawes

Recommended for you

View all
Labour unveils plan to fix rental crisis and immediately axe no-fault evictions
Labour will ban no-fault evictions, confirms Angela Rayner and Keir Starmer
RENTING

Labour unveils plan to fix rental crisis and immediately axe no-fault evictions

UK inflation falls to lowest level in almost three years – but cost of living crisis is far from over
Inflation
Cost of living crisis

UK inflation falls to lowest level in almost three years – but cost of living crisis is far from over

How Nigel Farage could become next Tory leader – and why we all should be concerned
General election 2024

How Nigel Farage could become next Tory leader – and why we all should be concerned

Greek coastguards 'throwing migrants to their deaths' may be repeated in Britain, leaders warned
Greek coastguard ship carrying migrants
Immigration

Greek coastguards 'throwing migrants to their deaths' may be repeated in Britain, leaders warned

Most Popular

Read All
Renters pay their landlords' buy-to-let mortgages, so they should get a share of the profits
Renters: A mortgage lender's window advertising buy-to-let products
1.

Renters pay their landlords' buy-to-let mortgages, so they should get a share of the profits

Exclusive: Disabled people are 'set up to fail' by the DWP in target-driven disability benefits system, whistleblowers reveal
Pound coins on a piece of paper with disability living allowancve
2.

Exclusive: Disabled people are 'set up to fail' by the DWP in target-driven disability benefits system, whistleblowers reveal

Cost of living payment 2024: Where to get help now the scheme is over
next dwp cost of living payment 2023
3.

Cost of living payment 2024: Where to get help now the scheme is over

Strike dates 2023: From train drivers to NHS doctors, here are the dates to know
4.

Strike dates 2023: From train drivers to NHS doctors, here are the dates to know