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Department of Health

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Delivering the NHS Plan

Putting People at the Heart of Public Services

1.15 The NHS Plan (1.1) was announced by the Prime Minister and the Secretary of State for Health on 27 July 2000. This plan set out the investment and reform strategy for the NHS, alongside the Public Service Agreement targets for the NHS and Social Services.

1.16 The five-year funding increase announced in the 2002 Budget and confirmed in the 2004 spending review have enabled the Government to implement the vision set out in The NHS Plan.

1.17 Delivering the NHS Plan (1.2) in April 2002 outlined the improvements in services that the public can expect to see as the Plan is put into action. It set out how the NHS would operate to secure the best use of resources.

1.18 In June 2004, the Department of Health published The NHS Improvement Plan - Putting People at the Heart of Public Services (1.3). This document set out the priorities for the NHS up to 2008. It supports the ongoing commitment to the ten-year reform process first set out in The NHS Plan.

1.19 The NHS Improvement Plan sets out the key commitments that the NHS will deliver to transform the patients' experience of the health service by 2008 through dramatic reductions in waiting times, increased choice for patients and more focus on the treatment of patients with chronic illness and prevention of disease and tackling ill health through public health.

1.20 The NHS Improvement Plan also sets out how these services will be delivered by the NHS. For example, through NHS Foundation Trusts; Independent and NHS treatment centres; and new ways of meeting patient needs in primary care. There will also be increases in NHS staffing coupled with new ways of working to meet patients' needs and investment in state-of-the-art information systems to allow patients to choose more convenient and higher quality personal care. This will all be supported by a system of financial incentives and performance management that will drive the delivery of the new commitments whilst continuing to hand money, control and responsibility to local health services.

Creating a Patient led NHS - Delivering the NHS Improvement Plan

1.21 In support of the NHS Improvement Plan the Department of Health published Creating a Patient-led NHS - Delivering the NHS Improvement Plan(1.4) on the 17 March 2005. The ambition over the next few years is to deliver a profound change to the NHS - to change the whole system so that there is more choice, more personalised care, real empowerment of people to improve their health - a fundamental change in the relationship with patients and the public. The plan is to move from a service that does things to and for its patients to one that is patient-led, to deliver a service that works with patients to support them with their health needs. Every aspect of the new system is designed to be patientled through:

  • a greater range of choices and range of information to help make those choices;
  • stronger standards and safeguards for patients; and,
  • NHS organisations being better at understanding patients and their needs, who use new and different methods to do so and have better and more regular sources of information about preferences and satisfaction.

1.22 Creating a Patient-led NHS describes the major changes underway in the NHS and explains how some of the biggest changes will be taken forward. It is aimed primarily at the leaders of the NHS to provide clarity on how to carry forward to transform the NHS to be truly patient-led. This process will be supported by a programme of work for the national issues, delivered mainly through the National Leadership Network for Health and Social Care and steered by the Department.

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