7th January 2019
The Land Trust has welcomed the publication of the NHS Long Term Plan which aims to save up to half a million lives over the next decade by focusing on prevention.
The new strategy will see GPs, mental health and community care get the biggest funding increases, with the goal of curbing the reliance on hospitals.
Land Trust Chief Executive, Euan Hall, has welcomed the ambitions set out in the plan.
“The NHS is one of the greatest healthcare systems in the world and provides a fantastic service to millions of people across the UK every single day.
“However it has been struggling financially for some time and it was clearly time for a new approach. We welcome the philosophy of prevention that will underpin the future direction of the NHS.
“The plan fits in perfectly with the Land Trust’s own health vision for 2019 which is all about empowering people to take responsibility for their own health and well-being, both physical and mental.
“Some of the biggest drains on our health service such as obesity and diabetes are in the main wholly preventable and encouraging people to spend more time outdoors being active could prevent many of the health issues that are currently blighting our society. This in turn will free up the health service to channel their resources to the people who really need it.”
The new plan will have a focus on ‘doing things differently’ giving people more control over their own health and the care they receive, with an increased drive on helping people stop smoking, overcome drinking problems and avoid Type 2 diabetes.
An extra £2.3 billion more a year will be spent on mental health care, which will help 380,000 more people get therapy for depression and anxiety.
Research conducted by the Land Trust on its site at Countess of Chester Country Park highlighted huge improvements in physical and mental health of those who increased the amount of time they spent outside in well managed green space.
The Health for Life project saw 700 different sessions organised at the park for the public and NHS staff from the nearby hospital and saw participants health measured at the start and end of an 8-12 week programme.
The results were very positive with the physical and mental health of the participants significantly improved, with a dramatic reduction in the time participants spent sitting each day and a corresponding leap in vigorous physical exercise of nearly 60 per cent.
“The Health for Life programme was a major success story which resulted in hundreds of people enjoying the benefits of spending time in well managed green space.
“What was particularly significant was the improvement in people’s mental health over the course of the programme.
“Too often in the past the treatment for mild and moderate mental health issues such as depression and anxiety, has been a prescription, which costs the health service money, and tackles the symptoms and not the cause of the issue.
“While there is obviously a long way to go, I believe the new plan announced today, if implemented correctly, will benefit everyone involved including patients, NHS staff and wider society as a whole.”
Being active and outdoors, volunteering, gives me a sense of well-being, as well as satisfaction.
Hannah Bagguley, AB Agri volunteer
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