The NHS England long term plan


NHS England has published its long-awaited long-term NHS plan, setting out the strategic objectives for the NHS over the next 10 years. This includes some important developments for the global Life Sciences community: Personalised care

  • The NHS will ramp up support for people to manage their own health, starting with diabetes prevention and management, asthma and respiratory conditions, maternity/parent support and online therapies for mental health services
  • There will be an accelerated roll out of personal health budgets and social prescribing will be widened

Integrated care systems (ICSs)

  • ICSs will be developed everywhere, growing out of the current Sustainability and Transformation Plan (STP) network
  • There will be streamlined commissioning arrangements, typically involving a single CCG for each ICS area (so CCGs will become leaner, more strategic organisations)
  • Funding flows and contract reform will support the move to ICSs and there will be a new ICS accountability and performance framework


  • Over the next ten years, the NHS will routinely offer genomic testing to all people with cancer for whom it would be of clinical benefit, and expand participation in research
  • The Bowel Cancer Screening Programme will be modernized to detect more cancers, earlier
  • There will be a new faster diagnosis standard to ensure most patients receive a definitive diagnosis or ruling out of cancer within 28 days of referral from a GP or from screening

Research and Innovation

  • During 2019, seriously ill children who are likely to have a rare genetic disorder, children with cancer, and adults suffering from certain rare conditions or specific cancers, will begin to be offered whole genome sequencing
  • There will be a simpler, clearer system for MedTech and digital, so that proven and affordable innovations can reach patients faster, including a new MedTech funding mandate
  • The current NHS England ‘Test Beds’ will be expanded through regional Test Bed Clusters from 2020/21

Article published 8 January 2019.