Responding to the publication of the NHS Long-Term Plan, Matthew Winn, chair of the Community Network, established by the NHS Confederation and NHS Providers, said:
“It is extremely positive that community services, working in partnership with primary care, will play a central role in supporting a sustainable NHS for the long-term future; this is something the Community Network has argued for.
“A shift in focus towards prevention and community care will help ensure people can live healthier, longer lives, and receive care in or close to their homes, reducing admissions and demand on already over-stretched hospitals.
“The commitment of at least an extra £4.5bn a year in real terms by 2023/24 for primary and community care is hugely welcome. However, it will be imperative for investment to reach the front line, and to address the workforce challenges the sector must address if we are to make this ambition a reality.
“Working together, primary and community health services will be able to make major changes in the way people are supported, especially those who are frail and vulnerable.
“We now need to translate this plan into deliverable action, and with involvement from the front line, set out how these ambitions will be balanced against the other priorities in the NHS Long Term-Plan and the funding available.”