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The Government’s major condition

The Government’s major condition

Sofia Lind takes an anticipatory look at the Government’s Major Conditions Strategy

The Government’s latest plan for reducing the workload of the NHS was announced yesterday without much fanfare.

Not even a press release graced the Pulse inboxes – instead I was alerted to the ‘Major Conditions Strategy’ via an unimpressed comment from the Alzheimer’s Society.

Now it wasn’t so much of a plan as a plan to make a plan.

Health secretary Steve Barclay said his department will be setting out a strategy for ‘tackling’ cancers, CVD, chronic respiratory illness, mental health, dementia and musculoskeletal ailments.

Although the announcement was more than a little light on detail, the not-so-ground-breaking avenues of ‘early detection’ and ‘good health’ are to play a key part in the strategy.

That is if the plan ever sees the light of day.

As the Alzheimer’s Society pointed out, an open letter signed by thousands of campaigners was delivered to Downing Street just last week demanding that a promised 10-year plan for dementia is published. The 10-year mental health plan also remains unpublished.

Mr Barclay pointed out that England’s poorest live an average of 19 fewer years in good health, but where is the long-awaited Government white paper on health disparities? (surely short-lived health secretary Therese Coffey can’t still be sitting on it, unless she’s physically, actually sat on it?)

And where is the long-term workforce strategy that is to turn around the Conservative Party’s poor luck in stemming the exodus of GPs from the NHS?

This will be crucial for ‘early detection’ of illness and, may I point out, the previously announced plan for all patients to get a GP appointment within two weeks.

Does the Government have a strategy for delivering on its vast arrays of plans for the NHS? Or is its major condition an inability to put plans into action.

Sofia Lind is deputy editor of Pulse. Follow her on Twitter at @sofialind_Pulse or email her at