June 28, 2017

NHS Pleads For Faster Cash Injections

The NHS is struggling to stay in the black for 2015-16, according to recent reports. The organisation’s finance chiefs have appealed to the government for a £8 billion injection by the end of next year.

According to the Financial Times, there is far too much pressure on the service to deliver. And, that the £8 billion on offer needs to be released over the next 18 months, rather than the full term of parliament promised by the government.

The report also suggests that medical finance directors have spoken of their lack of confidence in the plans set out twelve months ago. Eight out of every ten directors that filled in a survey called the goals unachievable, and undeliverable. Four out of ten also stated their belief that high-quality NHS standards would be maintained.

This is not too much of a surprise, as according to other reports, standards in the NHS have dropped significantly. The OECD recently revealed that due to staff shortages and the funding crises, the NHS is now amongst the world’s worst health services. Click here to find out more information on those revelations. Also, as reported in The Guardian, the service will not be able to make the £22 billion of savings it pledged under the new goals.

There are fears that things have deteriorated so fast, that by the end of next year, 156 acute hospital trusts will be in the red for the first time.

10229035374_6e60a46496_z

https://flic.kr/p/gzUtQS

It’s news that will cause Chancellor George Osborne several problems. There is a spending review due to take place on 25 November. And, despite insistences that the way forward is to make cuts and savings, it’s clear the NHS is on the ropes. While that might suit the government regarding their policies and ideas for the NHS in the future, it’s certainly no vote-winner. Also, it turns the idea of the government being a good pair of hands for the country’s finances on its head.

There’s another underlying issue to deal with, too, which has largely been swept under the carpet. Mental health problems account for around a quarter of illnesses in the country. Yet, it is only given 12-13% of the budget – and that figure will fall further. There are fears that mental health services around the country will be in more trouble as trusts redirect money to physical illness.

For the moment, though, the government’s position will remain firm. The Department of Health told The Guardian that they expect the NHS to make the £22 billion of savings. And, that they will have to make do with the £8 billion of investment, under the original terms.  

However, whether that original five-year plan will succeed, is looking increasingly unlikely. As many of the finance directors believe it will fail without support, it’s going to be tough for the UK government to hold their position. If they decide to stick in their spending review, it could be seen as a serious failure by the time the 2020 election comes around.

Posts Related to this Article: