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Health secretary announces new Major Conditions Strategy

The Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Steve Barclay, has today announced the Government's intention to develop and publish a new Major Conditions Strategy.

Whilst announcing the strategy during his statement to the House of Commons, Barclay detailed how the Government’s action will set out a “strong and coherent policy agenda” that indicates a “shift to integrated, whole-person care,” further developing the NHS Long Term Plan.

With pressure on the health system building as the NHS battles a spate of different issues, the MP for North East Cambridgeshire explained the strategy’s ultimate objectives saying the measures put forward will look to alleviate pressure and uphold the Government’s commitment to increasing life expectancy and reducing ill-health-related labour market inactivity.

Barclay went on to acknowledge the siloed nature of the health system, pledging that his department’s approach will harness the potential of whole-person care, before reflecting how the country’s health landscape is changing as NHS patients continue to deal with increasingly complex needs and multiple long-term conditions, and thus a different workforce model is required.

The strategy will is also said to centralise the state’s key promises around mental health, cancer, dementia, and health inequalities as well as aligning to the Government’s Life Sciences Mission.

The health secretary eventually indicated the Government’s intention to publish an interim report on the Major Conditions Strategy in the summer, before finishing his address by saying: “Strategies alone will not change outcomes. Delivery will require concerted effort from government and the NHS working in tandem, alongside social care, patient representatives, industry, and partners across the health and care system.”

Responding to the announcement, NHS Confederation’s Policy Director, Dr Layla McCay, said: “Health leaders stand ready to input to this strategy and will welcome the focus on integrated, whole-person care as well as the emphasis on health and care services and local government working together.

“It is hoped that the strategy will incorporate both a short and long-term vision beyond the political and financial cycles and is informed by meaningful public and professional engagement.

“As the Secretary of State has acknowledged, strategies alone will not change outcomes. NHS leaders are committed to playing their part to build a healthier population, but to do this they need the right workforce, resources and regulatory environment.”

To read Steve Barclay’s full statement, click here.

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NHE May/June 2024

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