Sounds like good news?
Well, analysis by the Health Foundation compares government spending plans set out in the manifesto with spending pressures of four per cent per year estimated by the Office for Budget Responsibility.
They found that by the end of this parliament the NHS will be £21bn short.
To plug the funding gap, it’s likely that we’ll continue to see service rationing, cuts and reconfigurations driven by financial imperatives rather than clinical need and increasing reliance on over-stretched staff making up for shortages.
All of this is putting huge pressure on performance.
A summary of the latest NHS indicators has just been published and it doesn’t look good:
The Care Quality Commission has also released its report on the state of care in England, noting that health and care services are at full stretch and that the ability to meet demand for hospital care is under severe pressure.
"While demand for hospital care has been rising so strongly, the number of hospital beds has been gradually reducing. From the last quarter of 2010/11 to the last quarter of 2016/17, decisions to admit rose by sixteen per cent while available beds fell by eight per cent."
And as for staff, the Care Quality Commission report that “the combination of greater demand and unfilled vacancies means that staff are working ever harder to deliver the quality of care that people have a right to expect. However, there is a limit to their resilience.”
Underfunding is causing the NHS to scale back what it delivers. This is just not acceptable. And it is not safe either, for patients and for staff.
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