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The NHS has today announced that it will provide up to £50 million to fund long term screening and treatment for those affected by the Grenfell Tower fire.
NHS England chief executive Simon Stevens said that a new screening service would be in place imminently to provide long term support and treatment for people with physical and mental health issues following the tragic incident.
Together with the local health groups, NHS England will now be investing up to £10 million a year in the service for the next five years.
Former residents of the Grenfell Tower block will be invited to regular health MOTs which will assess all of their health needs in one place, including the potential long term impacts of the fire.
The service will build on the work that the NHS has already done with the community since the tragedy last June and complements existing mental and physical health services.
It will also ensure that those who may have physical healthcare concerns, such as respiratory illnesses resulting from smoke inhalation, get the timely reviews and any subsequent treatment that they need.
Health services will be carried out by a partnership of local GP practices, Central and North West London Foundation Trust and community outreach and will be available for survivors from the tower block fire, bereaved families and friends and the local community.
The NHS will also work with other organisations to assess any additional support needed for first responders.
Other aspects of programme include:
The establishment of a new fast track community health service for respiratory screening for adults and children, that will be developed with the people from Grenfell tower and the local community
- Full physical health checks
- Additional monitoring for long term conditions
- Extra support for increased diabetes risk, weight gain management and drug and alcohol dependency
- Ongoing screening and treatment for mental health trauma
Speaking at NHS Providers conference in Manchester today, Simon Stevens said: “For those people who were affected by this horrendous tragedy, their pain is not over and many continue to face real difficulty.
“NHS staff and the local community have been working hard from day one to support the Grenfell community. The NHS was there when people needed us and we’re determined to stay the course. That’s why we are now introducing a new dedicated service to ensure those affected continue to have their health needs fully met.”
The NHS has already put mental and physical health support in place with a service provided by Central North West London Foundation Trust for people with wide ranging mental health needs. Nearly 4000 residents have already been screened by GPs and mental health practitioners.
Since the fire in June 2017, GP practices have been carrying out Grenfell specific clinics, recognising increased health needs with longer appointments.
The updated health check services are due to be available in November this year.