Cutting smoking rates and improving cancer survival among priorities for health bosses in South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw

A key regional NHS body which looks after the health of 1.5m people in South Yorkshire and North Nottinghamshire has set out its priorities for the next five years.

Friday, 17th January 2020, 6:00 am
Updated Friday, 17th January 2020, 6:10 am
Health bosses have set out their priorities for the next few years

£129m of new government funding has been earmarked for the 22 bodies which make up the South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw Integrated Care Service to improve health and reduce inequalities.

The plan includes pledges to reduce the number of pregnant women who are smoking when they give birth to six per cent by March 2024 and to reduce smoking in the overall population to ten per cent.

It also promises to improve both one and five-year cancer survival rates, and to increase the percentage of people who are diagnosed at stage one and two of the disease.

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And the plan contains commitments to reduce the gap in life expectancy for people with mental illnesses and learning disabilities, to reduce death rates from cardiovascular disease and to lower suicide rates.

Chief executive Sir Andrew Cash said the plan built on pledges made by the regional sustainability and transformation partnership formed in 2016.

He said: “As a South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw region we have joined forces to work as a system where it makes sense to do so and where it makes a real difference to patients, staff and the public.

“Our new five-year plan recommits our ambition for everyone in South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw to have a great start in life, supporting them to be healthy and live longer, while aiming to be the best delivery and transformation system in the country.”

As well as healthcare-based pledges, the plan also includes commitments on increasing the use of digital technology in personal health data and recruiting more members of staff from the local area.

Previously publicised plans to cut consultant-led maternity and pediatric services in outlying parts of the region no longer feature, however.

Jeremy Short from Sheffield Save Our NHS said: “We obviously want integration between health and social care and there are benefits to be had from collaboration at a regional level.

“But there needs to be greater democratic accountability and we remain concerned that the system may be used to close down local facilities and centralise services.”