Mental health waiting-time targets, urgent care centres and patient-held budgets all feature in NHS East of England’s 10-year ‘road map’.

The strategic health authority was the first to launch its regional report, on Monday, as part of Lord Darzi’s NHS next stage review.

The report, Towards the Best, Together, commits the SHA to maximum 18-week waits for an extended range of services, measures to prevent inappropriate use of accident and emergency facilities, reforms for patients with long-term conditions, and a commitment to preserve A&E and maternity services (see below).

The initiatives build on 11 pledges the SHA made last December on its priorities for the next three years.

Chief executive Neil McKay said: “The Darzi review acted as the catalyst and helped bring together issues we were already starting to work on.”

The region was once£220m in debt but retained a surplus at the end of the last financial year, making the vision achievable, he said.

Medical director Robert Winter promised a focus on small GP practices offering extended services and hours. “One size doesn’t fit all,” he said, referring to plans in London to introduce polyclinics. He said commissioning would be crucial.

Major signposts in the road map

  • Maximum 18-week wait for services including mental health, speech therapy, podiatry, orthotics and orthodontics

  • Urgent care centres, managed by primary care clinicians, established to free up accident and emergency units for emergencies

  • Personal health plans and self-care for people with long-term conditions.

  • Pilot patient-held budgets

  • A&E departments, obstetric units and midwife-led centres at each of the region’s 17 acute trusts

  • NHS primary dental services available to all who need them