The Resuscitation Council (UK) welcomes the NHS Long Term Plan released 7 January 2019. It is great to see such a strong focus on cardiovascular disease, with the plan going much further than its predecessor, the NHS Five Year Forward View, in this regard.
We welcome the strong focus on prevention throughout the plan and especially in relation to cardiovascular disease (CVD). CVD is the largest cause of premature mortality in deprived areas so it is great that the NHS has such strong ambition to save lives in this area over the next 10 years.
However, for those experiencing a cardiac arrest out of hospital, we need to act fast. Outcomes in this area are poor, currently less than one in 10 survive. We have long campaigned to improve outcomes for those who experience a cardiac arrest, particularly out of hospital, so it is fitting that one of the key milestones in the plan focuses on improving community first response and building defibrillator networks to improve survival from out of hospital cardiac arrest.
Harnessing technology is one such way to do this, so apps like GoodSam and Lifesaver (www.lifesaver.org.uk) are pivotal in ensuring that as many people as possible can save a life. We look forward to working with the NHS to ensure these apps- and other initiatives- are used widespread, effectively and efficiently so that more lives are saved.
Finally, as the leading provider of life support training courses in the NHS, we have long recognised the pressures the workforce is under. As budgets are squeezed, and time becomes more and more precious, training can be postponed and delayed as more immediate pressures mount. Yet, a world class health service needs a world class workforce, so we welcome the announcement that funding for continuing professional development will increase each year.
As ever, the Resuscitation Council (UK)- the experts in resuscitation and defibrillation- look forward to working with the NHS and key partners to ensure that the ambitions in this plan are realised. Together we really can save lives.