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Health Secretary aims to bring care closer to homes and into communities

Health Secretary, Wes Streeting, has pledged to divert billions towards primary care in an article this week in the Guardian.

Jo Quarterman Jo Quarterman

Published 09 July 2024

Health Secretary aims to bring care closer to homes and into communities Clinical capacity

Less than 10% of the £165bn NHS budget in England is spent on primary care, and that share has been falling. Streeting has said he would reverse that trend and boost the proportion of the budget for primary care so patients could access help sooner.

Streeting said: “My first visit as health secretary was to a GP practice because when we said we want to shift the focus of the NHS out of hospitals and into the community, we meant it.

“I’m determined to make the NHS more of a neighbourhood health service, with more care available closer to people’s homes. Because if patients can’t get a GP appointment, then they end up in A&E, which is worse for them, and more expensive for the taxpayer.”

Amanda Pritchard, the chief executive of NHS England, who visited the GP practice with Streeting, welcomed the policy shift. She said: “GP teams are the bedrock of the NHS but right across the country, they are under huge pressure and working incredibly hard to deliver more appointments. We know there is much more work to do to support them and to transform primary care services.”

In an email to NHS leaders on Monday, Pritchard revealed in the Guardian that there were “three big strategic shifts” identified by the new government that “we are all keen to make”. They were:

Key Initiatives:

  • Moving more care out of hospital into primary care and community services: Pledge to bolster general practices, ensuring better access and care for patients
  • Better use of technology and data: Investments in primary care will also likely include advancements in digital health services, improving accessibility and efficiency
  • Prevention and health promotion: By enhancing primary care, the plan aims to focus on prevention, helping people stay healthier and reducing the need for hospital visits

Looking Ahead

From community drop-in health check clinics offering accessible appointments ranging from cervical screening to vaccinations and wound care. To mobile treatment units reducing the anxiety and travel times of patients with cancer. EMS Healthcare have been supporting the NHS with increasing capacity and bringing care into communities for decades. We can see the impact first hand on reducing health inequalities and we support this focus on bringing care closer to homes.

Get in touch to talk through how we could support you.