The Health Secretary, Matt Hancock, announced today his long-term vision for the NHS which focuses on prevention of health conditions. Our Director of Clinical Services, Paul Edwards, commented on the development:
“Whilst the Health Secretary’s focus on prevention is a step in the right direction it does not take into account the thousands of people living with long-term health conditions right now. Having proper post diagnostic support in place helps not only these people, but also benefits the NHS which is languishing in a time of reduced resources and a lack of understanding around life-limiting conditions, especially in the case of dementia.
“It is pleasing to hear though that social prescribing has been listed as part of this vision. Our Admiral Nurses, who help to link up people with dementia to the requisite community support, are closely aligned to this model. However in order to reap the benefits of this approach we need to have a properly joined-up system. Failing this, social prescribing may fall down the increasing gap between health and social care, or just be seen as a nice to have.
“The Government needs to follow up its rhetoric with solid proposals, and that includes expanding the number of specialist nurses across the system, but especially in primary care where post diagnostic support remains a postcode lottery.”