THE Prime Minister's long term plan for the NHS has been welcomed with a mixed response in Barrow.

Theresa May's plan follows the announcement last year which revealed the NHS would receive £20.5 billion extra by 2023-2024.

Out of this extra funding, £4.5 billion will be invested in primary and community care, GP support, health visitors and community nurses.

Simon Fell, conservative spokesman for Barrow and Furness said: “I am pleased that it has been developed by the NHS, ensuring it will work for both patients and staff.

“Workforce is at the heart of the plan, with tens of thousands more doctors, nurses and other health professionals improving access to healthcare for people in Barrow & Furness and across the country. It will be a boon for Furness General.”

But while Barrow Labour councillor Anne Burns welcomed the plans, she said: “Any type of funding is very welcome but this has come on the back of underfunding where public health funding has been considerably slashed.

“Its focus upon preventative work will have a positive impact on Barrow but this is on the back of a government which has done nothing but made cuts to public health.”

In return for the extra funding, the NHS was asked to develop a plan detailing how this additional finance would be spent in regards to patient care.

The new investment will aim to speed up diagnosis time and improve the overall treatment of serious conditions like cancer and stroke.

The plan also aims to implement dedicated new services for alcohol dependency which cost the NHS an estimated £3.5 billion each year.

Alcohol Care Teams will be rolled out in hospitals with the highest number of alcohol-related admissions and will support patients and their families who have issues with alcohol misuse.

As well as this, increased funding will be given to quitting smoking services.

Every smoker admitted to hospital will be offered NHS support to quit and this also includes every patient who is receiving long term support from specialist mental health and learning disability services.

Duncan Selbie, Chief Executive of Public Health England said: “Investing in prevention is the smartest thing the NHS can do. Tobacco kills 1500 people a week so helping people to quit when admitted to hospital helps them, their families and the taxpayer."