Published on 23 Nov 2012

Care versus ‘cuts’ in the NHS

It is hard not to despair sometimes when it comes to the NHS. There is no doubt that it is a truly wonderful service with many staff going above and beyond their duties.

But then along comes today’s Care Quality Commission annual report which describes an NHS creaking under the strain of trying to provide high quality care as demand rises and resources are stretched.

Indeed, one in six of the hospitals inspected in 2011-12 did not meet the CQC’s standard for having enough staff on duty to care properly for patients.

The Royal College of Nursing will not be surprised by these findings. They have been warning that front line posts are going and that thousands are at risk.  Even if their figures are an overestimate today’s report shows there is a serious problem on hospital wards.

The irony is that the government in its new mandate has promised to take into account patient experiences through the friends and family test, which will emphasise quality of care.

The first thing patients are likely to complain about is lack of staff and the issues that stem from that such as lack of cleanliness, medication not being given at the correct time and ward rounds being delayed.

Currently ministers do not seem to appreciate how fundamental this is.  They continue to state that they are committed to improving the NHS and that they will not tolerate poor care. But they are insisting on massive, unprecedented savings while at the same time effectively flat lining the overall budget. Not to mention the £1bn handed back to the treasury which perhaps could have gone to re-hiring some of the staff.

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4 reader comments

  1. ian wilson says:

    I’m sick of the governments(and opposition) refusal to face facts. You cant keep cutting costs and maintain services. They cant keep dropping the rates paid to private contractors and increaing their costs thru’ mln. wage and extended sick and paternity leave. There are difficult choices to be made but please be honest and realistic. Stop playing party politics and insulting the
    publics intelligence

  2. katggh says:

    I have worked for the NHS for 36 years the last 14 in infection control. On the Friday before Christmas myself and other IC colleagues will find out if we will have a job or face redundancy.

    The public should be made aware that we are now seeing the planned downfall of our much loved NHS by 2015 many services will be privatised. The problem is NHS staff no matter what hand is dealt to them will continue to ensure patient care and experience is not compromised and patients as long as they are still receiving the usual will not see the end coming until it is to late to reverse the inevitable outcome. Please help to save our NHS.

  3. Philip Edwards says:

    Victoria,

    Sigh. Here we go again.

    The NHS is “creaking” because neocon politicians have designed it to “creak” – and in due course to split into saleable parts. Then the tories and their Yank and European chums can move in as it is privatised – the same applies to neocon New Labour, the worst and most politically traitorous and guilty of all the politicians.

    Current “reforms” are typical. In these, GPs are being turned into profiteering entities. Over time, if allowed, this will create a medical profession every bit as bad and immoral as the Yank version. At present we have enough medics with conscience to resist it, but the neocons are ready to bribe them gradually and wait until there are enough of them to go for outright privatisation. You can find their plans set out in jargon by various neocon “institutes,” “think tanks” and “research” organisations – really nothing more than neocon propaganda outlets. These people are the same spivs, liars and cheats who have looted the banking system, real scum of the earth.

    Meanwhile, NHS staff at all levels perform near-miracles under a barrage from corrupt politicians and mainstream media intent only on promoting a negative image of the best openly available health system in the world. This will never cease until it is taken on head-on and exposed for the evil, lying nonsense it is. It is the tory neocon wet dream to abolish the NHS as one of the last bastions of successful community ownership of a vital life service. They have already done so with the utility companies, social housing and education (see PFI).

    Funny how neocons can always find trillions to fund their genocidal and illegal wars and stock exchange casino, but NEVER enough to fund the NHS. What stinking hypocrites and cheap hoodlums they are!

  4. Philip Edwards says:

    Victoria,

    Apologies for a second post to prove my point that the tories are a malevolent cancer on our society. The quotes below are from Lahndan city banker “Lord” Freud, appointed welfare “adviser” to the ineffable IDS despite the fact he knows nothing whatever of the welfare system, what it is for and what its recipients have to go through.

    “The existing system allows long term sick to have a “lifestyle” provided by the Government.”

    “We’ve got the circumstance now where people who are poorer should take the biggest risk as they have the least to lose”

    He said he understands the challenges to people undergoing these benefit changes because “you dont need to be a corpse to attend the funeral.”

    That is the kind of mentality that attacks the NHS and its staff. In reality, he and his type aren’t fit to kiss their feet.

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