A NEW plan for the NHS has been welcomed in south Essex.

NHS bosses in the region claimed the ten-year healthcare plan announced by the Government mirrors its plans for the biggest shake-up of the NHS in a generation.

The Government’s long-term plan was unveiled yesterday and sets out how £20billion will be spent across England.

It puts the focus on prevention and early detection.

The plan includes a commitment of £4.5billion to GPs and community care and £2.3billion to mental health.

This is expected to pay for mental health support in schools, community support that will allow patients to be discharged from hospitals sooner and more options for GPs to tackle social problems.

NHS England claims the measures will help them to save half a million lives.

Dr Anita Donley OBE, independent chairman of the Mid and South Essex STP, said: “We welcome the publication and the priorities it contains. The plan is a helpful blueprint for change which reflects many of our own ambitions and the work we are already doing as a health and care partnership to shape our care for the future.

“Building on the conversations we are having with the public and our staff we now have the opportunity to shape what the plan means for our area, and how we can continue to improve the health and wellbeing of the communities we serve.”

The £118million sustainable transformation plan for south Essex was approved in July.

However its future has been uncertain since October when Southend Council called it in to be considered by Health Secretary Matt Hancock due to concerns it could be harmful to patients.

Thurrock Council has also called for a review.

One of the criticisms of the Government plan is how it will address the crisis in the number of GPs and nurses but the plan states that funding for training, education and professional development has not been set and a “workforce implementation plan” will be published later in the year.