The Government have put in place a programme of national health service investment and reform since 1997 to improve service delivery in all parts of the United Kingdom. 93 per cent. of people nationally now rate the NHS as good or excellent. The NHS Constitution contains 25 rights and 14 pledges for patients and the public including new rights to be treated within 18-weeks, or be seen by a cancer specialist within two weeks and an NHS health check every five years for those aged 40-74 years.
There is significant evidence that these policies have yielded considerable benefits for the Croydon Central constituency.
Figures for January 2010 show that in Croydon primary care trust (PCT):
93 per cent. of patients whose treatment involved admission to hospital started their treatment within 18-weeks.
99 per cent. of patients whose treatment did not involve admission to hospital started their treatment within 18-weeks.
Between September 2001 and September 2009 the number of general practitioners (GPs) per 100,000 people within Croydon Central PCT has increased from 50.4 to 69.6.
In December 2009, at Mayday Healthcare NHS Trust, 98.3 per cent. of patients spent less than four hours in accident and emergency from arrival to admission, transfer or discharge.
Between September 1997 and September 2009 the number of consultants at Mayday Healthcare NHS Trust increased from 79 to 121. Between September 1997 and September 2009 the estimated number of nurses increased from 730 to 1,279.
95.5 per cent. of urgent GP referrals to Mayday Healthcare NHS Trust with suspected cancer are seen by a specialist within two weeks of the referral.
Although statistical information is not available at a local level, Croydon Central will have also benefitted from national policies in other areas. For example:
Since 1997, gross current expenditure on personal social services has increased by around 70 per cent, in real terms with around 105,000 households now receiving intensive home care and 3,076 new extra care housing units—exceeding the original target of 1,500 new extra care units.
Other strategies currently being implemented are:
Subject to parliamentary approval, the Personal Care at Home Bill will guarantee free personal care for 280,000 people with the highest needs and help around 130,000 people who need home care for the first time to regain their independence;
“Shaping the Future of Care Together Green Paper, published in July 2009, sets out a vision for a national care service for all adults in England which is fair, simple and affordable. The Department has consulted widely on this reform and is currently analysing the responses, which will feed into a White Paper later this year;
The National Carer's Strategy—“(Carers at the heart of 21st century families and communities)—launched in 2008;
The first National Dementia Strategy was published in February 2009;
“Valuing People Now”—a three year strategy for people with learning disabilities published in January 2009; and
New Horizons: A Shared Vision for Mental Health—launched in December 2009—to maintain improvements in mental health services combined with a new cross-Government approach to promoting public mental health.
Since 1998, there are now 2.4 million fewer smokers in England as a result of the Government's comprehensive tobacco control strategy which has had a measurable impact on reducing smoking prevalence.
Child obesity levels are reducing due to the efforts of families across England, supported by the Government's obesity strategy. In 2008, 13.9 per cent. of children (aged two to 10) in England were classified as obese, compared with 17.3 per cent. in 2005.
Overall, life expectancy at birth for men has increased from 74.5 years (1995-1997 data) to 77.7 years (2006-08 data) while for women, life expectancy at birth has increased from 79.6 years (1995-97 data) to 81.9 years (2006-08 data).