The NHS has pledged £50m to fund a new health screening service for the survivors of the Grenfell Tower fire.
Unveiling the plan on Tuesday, NHS England chief executive Simon Stevens said the programme would provide long-term support and treatment for those suffering from physical and mental health issues following the tragedy, which claimed the lives of 72 people in June 2017.
Survivors – as well as bereaved families, friends and members of the community – will be eligible for full “health MOTs”, including screening for mental health trauma.
A report by the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea published in July found that two thirds of people involved in the fire had shown signs they needed treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder.
The scheme will offer extra support dealing with drug and alcohol dependency, weight gain and increased diabetes risk, as well as treatment for respiratory illnesses caused by smoke inhalation.
Speaking at the NHS Providers conference in Manchester, 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,” he continued. “The NHS was there when people needed us and we’re determined to stay the course.”
The scheme will see £10m per year invested over the next five years, with local health services set to implement the programme.
Meanwhile, the NHS will work with other organisations to assess additional support needed for first response emergency workers affected by the blaze.