MPs criticise 'lack of progress' on NHS self care rollout

The NHS is not doing enough to promote self care in line with goals set out in the Five-Year Forward View strategy, a parliamentary group has warned.

A report by the all-party parliamentary group (APPG) on primary care warned of a lack of progress on promoting self care, and on making sure the prevention and wellbeing aims of the Five Year Forward View are met within the five-year period it envisaged.

The APPG report called on the DH and NHS England to develop a national strategy for self care, and to for the appointment of a minister and a national lead to drive its implementation.

Public health funding handed to local authorities should be ring-fenced to stop it being diverted elsewhere, the report warns.

It also highlights problems with 'inconsistent information on where to seek medical help', which drives patients to GP practices and A&E unnecessarily.

GP workload

The APPG highlighted NHS England chief executive Simon Stevens' pledge that the health service would move on from being a 'care and repair' service to focus more on prevention and wellbeing.

'We are gravely concerned about the lack of progress towards these goals since the [Five-Year Forward View] was published in 2014,' the report warns.

With soaring demand on NHS services, 'no opportunity to engage people in their own health should be missed by the NHS', it says.

NHS England has said encouraging people to manage their own health remains a key priority and that vanguard schemes introducing new models of care will promote self care.

The DH says it is committed to ring-fencing the local authority public health grant for two years, and that the NHS England business plan for 2015/16 highlights steps to take forward self care.

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