Developing the long term plan for the NHS


The NHS has been asked to set out a long term plan for the future of the NHS by the autumn, setting out our ambitions for improvement over the next decade, and our plans to meet them over the five years of the funding settlement.

What's happened so far

Over the summer, scoping of the plan has been taking place, and we’ve brought together working groups – comprising local and national NHS leaders, clinical experts and patient representatives – who have been engaging with relevant stakeholders to develop proposals.

Over September those working groups have organised or attended over 150 meetings with stakeholders and received hundreds of submissions, which have helped them draw up draft policy proposals for inclusion in the plan.

An online call for views (now closed) has also allowed other stakeholders, in particular members of the public and front line NHS staff, to inform policy development – more than 2,000 submissions were received through the portal.

November update PDF, 365.1 KB

Includes a short description of the aims that each of the working groups are working towards

What happens next

All the work done by these groups will help as policy proposals are refined and brought together over the course of October and November. Other engagement – both by working groups and central teams – will also carry on during this time, meaning that stakeholders will continue to have the opportunity to influence the final plan up to its publication, expected in November.

But the publication of the long term plan is not the end of our engagement around it. From December to March 2019, staff, patients, the public and other stakeholders will have the opportunity to help local health and care organisations determine what the plan means for their area, and how best the ambitions it sets out can be met.

“It’s a personal intent of mine that we make sure the provider sector that has to deliver the plan is strongly built into this. The workstreams will be the first step in what will need to be a significant engagement process.”

Ian Dalton, Chief Executive, NHS Improvement

Hear more from Ian on the long term plan in his speech at the NHS Providers annual conference on 10 October.

List of working groups

Life course programmes

  • prevention and personal responsibility
  • healthy childhood and maternal health
  • integrated and personalised care for people with long-term conditions and the frail elderly (including dementia) 

Clinical priorities

  • cancer  
  • cardiovascular and respiratory 
  • learning disability and autism 
  • mental health 


  • workforce, training and leadership 
  • digital and technology 
  • primary care 
  • research and innovation 
  • clinical review of standards 
  • engagement 
  • funding and financial architecture
  • capital and infrastructure
  • efficiency and productivity
  • local and national system architecture

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