FICM responds to NHS England’s Long-Term Plan

7 January 2019

The Faculty welcomes the release of NHS England’s Long Term Plan (LTP), which sets out a vision for the next 10 years of the NHS in England.  This comes after the announcement in 2018 of £20.5 billion of additional funding.

Of particular note:

  • Workforce. The recognition of the need for an improved workforce strategy is an important development, especially as it recognises all members of the team, from medical staff and nurses to our Allied Health Professionals. More detail is needed on the aims of the LTP in this area.  Without more staff in sustainable jobs, no other aspects of the LTP can hope to flourish.

  • Prevention. Preventing illness is a positive aim, and public health outcomes, if successfully managed, could help to reduce patients with multiple co-morbidities and lessen the pressure on critical care services.  The focus on antimicrobial resistance is also welcome.

  • Structuring services. Recognising variation and how to best use services clearly recognises the importance of programmes like Getting It Right First Time, in which we are fully engaged.  The aim to help break down the barriers between secondary and primary care may lead to benefits to our patients who require support and rehabilitation after their stay in critical care.

  • PICM/NICM. We welcome the focus on our colleagues in neonatal and paediatric ICM, whose workforce and capacity issues have historically been greater than our own.  It is important as a Faculty and as a community that we continue to engage with the ongoing NHS England review into PICM services to ensure a positive outcome for both PICM and adult ICM patients and families

However, at the LTP’s heart, whilst there is a recognition of multiple organ systems or conditions, there is limited mention of the critically ill patient.  Our Dean, Dr Carl Waldmann, commented:

 

“There will be a continuing need for the Faculty to engage with NHS England, NHS Improvement and Health Education England as this plan develops over the coming decade to ensure the critically ill patient is kept at the forefront of these discussions.  I look forward to working with the National Workforce Group to demonstrate the essential workforce needs of critical care.  As the generalists of the hospital, we recognise the importance of the LTP’s aims for a patient-centred journey and welcome any plans to incentivise applicants to better address specialty and patient need. 

With the LTP’s focus on the structuring of services, the Faculty’s work on the Critical Futures initiative around End of Life Care (including escalation of treatment) and Enhanced Care, will be well-placed to help inform this work in the coming year.”

 

FICM Dean, Dr Carl Waldmann