NHS South West has unveiled ambitious plans to match the best life expectancy rates in Europe in its regional Darzi vision, published today.

The strategic health authority, whose population already has the longest life expectancy in England, today became the third region to publish its vision for delivering the Darzi reforms, setting out a wide array of targets with an emphasis on health promotion to keep people out of hospital and faster treatment for those who need it.

The plans include setting up health campuses for each primary care trust based on the community health model, using individual action plans and implementing multidisciplinary working to improve self-care of patients with long-term conditions. It is hoped the changes will cut emergency bed days for such patients by 30 per cent by 2010.

The proposals would also see 10 per cent of people attending accident and emergency shifted to other settings over five years and 95 per cent of patients requiring urgent care in any setting being treated within two hours by 2011. There is also a referral to treatment target of eight weeks for 90 per cent of admitted patients and 95 per cent of non-admitted patients by 2011.

NHS South West chief executive Sir Ian Carruthers said the area's NHS had managed to get itself "back in financial health" while cutting waiting times and improving services. "This progress gives us a strong foundation to develop a clear vision for the future so that we can strive to deliver improvements which extend well beyond current standards and expectations."

NHS South West chair Sir Mike Pitt said: "In the South West, we are committed to delivering health and healthcare that surpasses not only national targets but which consistently ranks alongside the very best in Europe."

NHS South West's route to reform

  • matching the highest life expectancy in Europe by 2013;

  • matching the lowest death rates from cancer, heart disease and stroke in Europe;

  • matching the lowest smoking levels in Europe by 2013;

  • reducing healthcare associated infections to match the lowest in Europe;

  • achieving the highest levels of fruit and vegetable consumption in England;

  • achieving a clear downward trend in childhood obesity by 2013;

  • reducing the gap in life expectancy between the worst and best areas by a third by 2013;

  • completing 90 per cent of diagnostic tests within two weeks by 2011.