This week, the Government launched its 10-year plan for the NHS which aims to help people live healthier lives. 

This ambitious long-term plan follows consultations from groups and individuals representing millions of people and it will see £20.5 billion being injected into the NHS budget by 2023/24.

At the heart of the announcement is the message that ‘prevention is better than cure’. The aim is for the NHS to do more to help people stay healthy. 

At the moment the NHS England sees 1.4 million patients every 24 hours. 

This plan outlines the biggest funding of primary and community care ever and aims to improve cancer survival rates by having earlier diagnosis and new screening. In 10 years, the aim is to have 55,000 more people surviving cancer every year. 

It is also hoped the plan will lead to 100,000 less heart attacks, strokes and dementia cases, as improvements are made in prevention, detection and treatment.

The Government has also pledged to improve access to mental health services. As part of this Dartford has been earmarked as one of 25 areas in the country which will see mental health teams based in and near schools and colleges, in a bid to help transform services for children and young people.

I welcome all these plans which aim to transform health and care for people throughout all the stages of their life. As our population ages and we see technological improvements in medicine, so do the challenges facing our health service and I hope this plan forms a good basis for the future planning of services.

Here in Dartford, we have a good local hospital but it faces huge challenges. This record investment in our health service will help but there will be ongoing challenges that we have to continue to meet.