McHale & Co. Solicitors Blog

National Health Service at Breaking Point

Between October and December 2014, the number of patients admitted to A&E foundation trust hospitals rose to 2.7 million, eight percent higher than the same period the previous year. More than half a million of these patients went on to be admitted for further treatment. At the same time NHS is forecasting an end-of-year deficit of more than £800m, which could more than triple to £2.5bn by the end of next year.

It is clear that the next government will inherit a health service under huge financial pressure and will be faced with the choice of increasing NHS funding to restore financial stability, or allowing patient care to deteriorate as staff are cut and having the knock of effect of waiting times increasing. The latter option will obviously lead to a greater risk of negligence occurring.

The government have decided the answer to this nightmare is to improve efficiency – work better with what the NHS has. As part of a five year plan the 'Five Year Forward View' senior leadership must prove to NHS Trusts that £22bn efficiency savings are achievable by having the right mechanisms in place.

Hopefully the idea is that money and resources cut each year will all be put back into patient treatment and care. However the demand for health care continues to outstrip the planned supply of funding to the NHS. The service is already at full stretch and many fear that further cuts or 'efficiency drives' may result in sub-standard care.

Whoever is in control from May at Richmond House, headquarters of the Department of Health, will have some tough decisions to make.

If you or a family member has suffered medical negligence get in touch with our specialists on 0161 928 3848.

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