Improved personalised care for NHS patients set to be announced in healthcare reforms

8 March 2022, 06:39 | Updated: 8 March 2022, 06:44

Sajid Javid is set to announce a number of reforms to the healthcare system
Sajid Javid is set to announce a number of reforms to the healthcare system. Picture: Alamy

By Daisy Stephens

A raft of reforms aiming to introduce improved and personalised patient care is set to be announced.

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Health Secretary Sajid Javid is expected to set out on Tuesday how the reforms will hand greater control and choice to patients over their care.

The changes include giving patients more choice if waiting times are long, the expansion of personalised care and health budgets and the increased use of the NHS app.

Mr Javid is set to say: "Those are the long-term challenges the NHS must adapt to: changing demographics and disease; changing technology and expectations; and unsustainable finances.

"Taken together, it's clear we were always going to come to a crossroads: a point where we must choose between endlessly putting in more and more money, or reforming how we do healthcare.

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"There were major challenges before the pandemic.

"Pressures in social care were rising substantially too.

"But without the pandemic, the Covid backlogs, an even more stretched workforce and other new pressures, that choice might have been many years down the line.

"The shock of Covid and the urgent need for recovery has brought us to this crossroads right now.

"I choose reform."

From April the Health and Social Care Levy will come into force, raising almost £36 billion over the next three years for health and social care services.

By the end of this year, all patients who have been waiting for 18 months or more will be contacted to discuss the choices they have about changing provider.

Over four million people are set to benefit from the expansion of personalised care, giving them more choice and control.

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The NHS also aims to get 75 per cent of all adults in England using the app by March 2024, making it easier for people to book appointments, communicate with health providers and see test results.

There will also be the rolling out of electronic records to 90 per cent of trusts by December 2023 and 80 per cent of social care providers by March 2024.

Amanda Pritchard, NHS chief executive, said: "As the NHS recovers services and addresses the Covid-19 backlogs that have inevitably built up during the pandemic, these measures will support the work of the NHS Long Term Plan - giving more patients greater choice and control over their own health.

"The pandemic has shown us what can be achieved when we work together across health, social and wider community services and, taken with the reforms set out in the Health and Care Bill, these actions will help to ensure patients and their families are firmly in the driving seat when it comes to making decisions about their care."