The NHS Long Term Plan (LTP) is an outline for how the nation’s public health service must develop over the next ten years to continue providing high-quality treatment to patients. NHS England Chief Executive, Simon Stevens, officially launched the LTP in 2019, just months before the onset of the coronavirus pandemic. Originally, it set out bold ambitions for the health service over the coming decade, including modernisation and action on addressing inequalities. But, thanks to the pandemic, how it will now evolve is no longer as clear cut.
The NHS budget is always changing. Every change results in a new announcement on what is being added to the NHS and what is taken away. However, it’s not only important to understand that it is changing, but essential to know how it’s changed. Since 1948 the NHS has stood strong in the UK, providing free medical care to those who need it. So, let’s take a look at the NHS and its budget.
When the NHS first began back in 1948, it had a budget of £427 million – which, allowing for inflation, is equal to around £15 billion today. However, in the last few decades, this budget has spiralled to around £124 billion. And whilst funding continues to grow, the NHS never seems to have enough funding to cover its huge growth in costs since its inception 70 years ago.
Clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) were created following the Health and Social Care Act in 2012 and replaced Primary Care Trusts on 1st April 2013. With 207 CCGs in England, these clinically-led statutory NHS bodies are responsible for the planning and commissioning of healthcare services in their local area and are responsible for getting the best possible health outcomes for the local population by assessing needs and buying in services from different providers.
Or, to put it simply, it’s a group of GPs that is responsible for managing and improving the health of their local area. Since their introduction four years ago in 2013, we’re taking a look at how CCGs are working and what the future holds;