New services for patients in Hertfordshire as part of national NHS plan

New services for patients in Hertfordshire as part of national NHS plan

Issued by NHS England

Two-year programme will focus NHS efforts on key patient priorities, with a radical upgrade to cancer care expected to save an extra 5,000 lives a year, new specialist mental health services, enhanced access to family doctors and primary care services, and a raft of measures to ease pressure on A&E. 

The NHS in England has today (Friday 31 March) set out how it will meet the priorities of patients and the public across the region over the next two years by better integrating health and care services.

Patients in Hertfordshire will see services increasingly delivered in a joined-up way, helping to deliver greater access to services in primary care and in patients’ own homes, as well as more options for accessing urgent care.

Two-and-a-half years on since the publication of the widely-welcomed NHS Five Year Forward View, today’s plan sets out the changes which will take place across the health service in four key areas:

Improved cancer care - aimed at saving an additional 5,000 lives a year across England, patients in Hertfordshire will have access to one of the new one-stop testing centres at East and North Herts NHS Trust to help speed up and improve diagnosis with a state-of-the-art linear accelerator radiotherapy machine, as well as new national screening programmes for bowel cancer. 

Boosting mental health services – a national commitment to end out of area care placements for children and young people by increasing the number of beds available by 10%. Mental health services for new mothers will also be increased and more mental health professionals in the community and hospitals will help prevent crisis admissions by ensuring more patients get help sooner. A new perinatal mental health bed will be provided by Hertfordshire Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust, and funding has been announced today for mental health liaison programmes at Lister Hospital (East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust) and Watford General Hospital (West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust).
Better access to GP services - with everyone benefiting from extended opening in the evenings and weekends, newly designated ‘Urgent Treatment Centres’ and an enhanced 111 service to ease pressure on A&Es.

More options for urgent and emergency care - New Urgent Treatment Centres will be rolled out across the country, and a beefed up NHS 111 service – with more access to clinical advice – will help ease pressure on A&Es, where GPs and mental health professionals will be stationed to help divert patients to more appropriate care.

Elliot Howard-Jones, Director of Commissioning Operations for NHS England (Central Midlands) said: “Today’s announcement sets out how services will be improved for patients across Hertfordshire over the next two years, whether it’s better access to family doctors and urgent care options, or one-stop cancer testing.

“We’ll be working closely with local health and care leaders and frontline staff as they now work in partnership to deliver on the priorities that patients and members of the public have told us matter most to them.”

The national plan – Next Steps On The NHS Five Year Forward View - sets out the imperative to break down barriers between NHS organisations and wrap services around patients, rather than passing them from pillar to post. 

It describes how learning from the 50 ‘vanguard’ projects across England – including the Enhanced Health in Care Homes Vanguard run by East and North Hertfordshire CCG – will be adopted by Sustainability and Transformation Partnerships to deliver better care for older people by bringing together services provided by GPs, hospitals, therapists, nurses and care staff, cutting emergency admissions and time spent in hospitals.

The plan also sets out how national and local bodies will take action to increase efficiency and tackle waste to make money invested in the NHS go further in delivering the services and staff that patients want, including the latest treatments and technology.

Launching the Delivery Plan, NHS England Chief Executive Simon Stevens said: “Heading into our 70th year, public support for the NHS is as strong as ever but so too are the pressures on our frontline staff. 

“Today we chart a course for practical care improvements for the next few years. We do not underestimate the challenges but, get these right, and patients, staff and the tax-paying public will notice the benefits.”

“The document outlines significant progress made over the last three years, including record high cancer survival rates, 8,000 extra doctors and nurses, the first ever waiting time standards for mental health treatment being introduced and met, and cutting waste – in particular agency staffing bills. 

“It also, however, frankly sets out where progress has not been as quick, with rising pressure on A&E and acute wards partly caused by delayed transfers of care.”

Katherine Murphy, Chief Executive of the Patients Association, said: “We welcome this delivery plan, and will work with NHS England to ensure it is delivered successfully and engages with patients nationally and locally. 

“This is essential both to ensure that the importance of change is understood by everyone, and to get input from patients about how new and re-designed services can meet their needs. 

“We call on decision-makers nationally and locally to support this process, to ensure that NHS services work well for patients now and in the future.”



As with the Five Year Forward View, the NHS Delivery Plan represents the joint priorities of all national health bodies in England – NHS England, NHS Improvement, Public Health England, Health Education England, NICE, NHS Digital and the Care Quality Commission – and has been developed in consultation with council leaders and professional and voluntary groups.

The document outlines significant progress made over the last three years, including record high cancer survival rates, 8,000 extra doctors and nurses significantly improving nurse-to-staff ratios, the first ever waiting time standards for mental health treatment being introduced and met, and cutting waste – in particular agency staffing bills. 

It also acknowledges areas where progress has not been as quick, such as funding for transformation and capital being used to balance Trust finances and rising pressure on A&E and acute wards caused by delayed transfers of care, as well as the deepening external challenges posed by the strained social care system and the rising impact of preventable illnesses linked to smoking and obesity. 

Despite the financial constrains facing the NHS, the Delivery Plan reaffirms a commitment to addressing the three gaps identified in the Five Year Forward View – public health, quality of care and financial sustainability – and sets out how local NHS organisations and their partners working together will be instrumental in delivering the key improvements demanded by patients.

Notes to editors

  • NHS England is the body which leads the NHS in England. Its main aim is to improve the health outcomes for people in England, and it sets the overall direction and priorities for the NHS as a whole.
  • For further information or interview opportunities, please e-mail or call 0113 825 3433 (07623 503829 out of hours).