Press Releases

HISTORIC PRESS RELEASE : Government launches plan for “people-centred” NHS [December 2009]

The press release issued by 10 Downing Street on 10 December 2009.

Gordon Brown and Health Secretary Andy Burnham today spoke of their five-year plans for the NHS during a visit to King’s College Hospital in London.

Mr Burnham today launched a new strategy document which lays out plans for the NHS until 2015 and includes a greater emphasis on patient choice, particularly for those with serious long-term conditions.

The Prime Minister said that plans focused on “making the health service far more personal to people’s needs” and “giving people the security to know the health service is always there when they need it”.

The strategy document ‘NHS 2010-2015: from good to great. Preventative, people-centred, productive,’ includes:

  • A greater emphasis on patient satisfaction
  • Increased out-of-hours access to GPs
  • One-to-one carers and health professionals for patients with serious long-term conditions
  • The ability for patients with terminal conditions to choose where they spend their final days
  • Improved job security for frontline staff
  • The ability for the best hospitals to extend their reach through their local community via GPs
  • More control and choice for patients over the care they receive
  • Legislation to limit waiting times, particularly for cancer treatment
  • NHS Health Checks for all patients between 40 and 74 by April 2012

During the hospital visit, Gordon Brown and Andy Burnham met staff working in a haematology unit where doctors are using pioneering techniques to treat patients with blood cancers.

The Health Secretary said of the plans:

“For the NHS to become truly great, it must become more preventative and people-centred … This means top quality care is our goal and patient safety our top priority. This is right for our times. Quality care is not always about spending more money, but about spending it in the right places. Moving care from hospitals into homes and communities is better for patients and more efficient.”