latest health care news

03.07.18

Cancer and mental health to become the focus of NHS funding

Thousands of new doctors need to be recruited to improve the NHS’ cancer and mental health care according to their chief executive, Simon Stevens.

Vacancies for 100,000 doctors and nurses are available across the NHS and despite the £20m funding deal announced by the Prime Minister last month, there is no surety that the money will be spent on filling these positions.

Theresa May has demanded that the NHS recover pre-austerity A&E performance targets as more than four million people have been left waiting for operations.

The prime minister also asked for improvements in cancer outcomes, which are below the European average for some common cancers.

Stevens told Sky News: “We want to make sure that as we put extra money in it is used wisely.

"But looking out at cancer care for the next decade, if we can focus particularly on early diagnosis, getting checked out soon, we are going to have an impact on cancer survival.”

Stevens also emphasised the need to provide staff for mental health in order to improve the service.

This proposal comes shortly after the NHS promised to expand children’s mental health care to deal with the explosion of social media.

On the improvement of children’s mental health services, Stevens said: “We’re going to need a major ramp up under any scenario of young people’s mental health services. That’s got to be one of the big things that comes out of the long-term NHS plan.”

NHS England will aim for a third of young people to receive the support they need for mental issues by 2020.

At the NHS Confederation conference in Manchester, Stevens claimed that part of the burden of mental health issues in young people should be shared by social media companies who have a “major influence” over the minds of adolescent people.

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