Sheena's blog: NHS Five Year Forward View Next steps

by Sheena Cumiskey - 06 April 2017

NHS Five Year Forward View - Next steps

Last week you may have read that NHS England published its Next Steps on the NHS Five Year Forward View – a detailed action plan outlining how nationally NHS care can be fit for the future.

Now two and a half year’s into the Five Year Forward View programme, the next steps document sets out how NHS England will deliver practical improvements. Specifically, the document highlights three key areas of priority - these are mental health, cancer and GP access.

Naturally, we are delighted that mental health is now considered a key priority nationally. In January I wrote about how I was looking forward to seeing how the government’s commitment to establishing parity of esteem between mental and physical health would reach us on the ground. I’m encouraged that tangible steps – including “substantially increased investment” - have been put in place to make this a reality:

“Increasingly, the public also understand that many of our lives will at some point be touched by mental health problems. Historically, treatment options for mental health compare unfavourably with those for physical conditions, particularly for children and young people. The public now rightly expect us to urgently address these service gaps.” - Next Steps on the NHS Five Year Forward View

The next steps document pledges “one of the biggest expansions in access to mental health services currently happening in Europe”, and promises investment to improve care for children and young people; increase access to talking therapies; provide care closer to home; offer better mental health care for new and expectant mothers and ensure better physical health for people with mental illness.

Although we welcome these positive developments, and look forward to putting them into practice at a local level, we cannot shy away from the well-known challenges we continue to face as care providers.

We are really pleased that our work will bring together our physical and mental health services in a person centred way. To enable this, we remain committed to working with people who access our services, our partners and our wider communities to transform the healthcare system for the better – in line with the Cheshire and Merseyside Five Year Forward View implementation plan (Sustainability and Transformation Plan)

This plan sets out how the health and care system can respond successfully to the growing demands that are being placed on it, and includes ambitious ideas to improve the health of people living and working in the region. The plan has a region-wide focus as well as work underway in three local delivery areas: Cheshire and Wirral, North Mersey and the Alliance (Warrington, Halton, St Helens and Knowsley). We are delighted that the local delivery lead for Cheshire and Wirral is Jonathan Develing, who will be working for all the health and social care organisation partners, and will be basing himself at CWP’s head office at Redesmere in Chester. Our Wirral colleagues will know Jonathan as the chief executive of Wirral Clinical Commissioning Group. Jonathan stands down from that role in order to provide dedicated leadership to the Forward View work in Cheshire and Wirral.

At CWP work is underway to develop our response to the changing NHS landscape and I am always impressed by the enthusiasm of staff to find even better ways to support people who use our services.  I am looking forward to chatting with colleagues about how it currently feels out on the frontline of services at my upcoming trustwide staff breakfast meetings

Best wishes,


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