posted on February 02, 2017 09:25
An interesting recent article in Private Eye summarized the
issues currently plaguing the NHS. As
the press has highlighted during the Christmas period many hospital trusts
including local Worcestershire Royal Hospital reached crisis point and a third
of hospitals had to take action to safeguard patients.
In Worcestershire Royal Hospital 109 patients had to wait
over 12 hours on trolleys, the hospital was under greater stress than even
before the winter crisis hit. Even the
heath secretary Jeremy Hunt stated that Worcestershire had ‘unacceptably long
trolley waits’. This all points to now
being a bad time for the massive cuts in bed numbers that are predicted by the ‘NHS
Sustainability and Transformation Plans’.
By the end of September 2016 over 348,500 patients
nationally had been waiting 18 weeks or longer to begin treatment (up 9.4%
compared to the previous year). Even
more worryingly 1,181 had been waiting over a year. In the same month the total number of people
on a waiting list had grown to 3.7 million (up over 400,000 from the start of
the year). The time critical waiting
time targets for cancer treatment have not been met for two and a half years.
Matters were further exasperated by cancelled urgent
operations which in November 2016 were 446, double the number of the previous
year. The result of this was that
routine operations were cancelled in the lead up to Christmas in order to make
way for emergencies.
This worsening NHS performance should not be a surprise when
you consider the issues highlighted in the press: Rising demand, ageing
population, funding flat lined, cuts to social care, insufficient investment in
staff and a lack of a co-ordinated service offer by providers.
Compared to other countries within Europe UK health spend as
a percentage of GDP is just 8%. In
France, Sweden, and Belgium equivalent GDP spend is 10 to 11%. Most NHS staff are striving to deliver the
same levels of compassionate care that they always have but due to staff
shortages, lack of investment and so many on waiting lists for urgent treatment
the NHS is just unable to cope and this is even before the recommended reduction
in available bed numbers.
Orchard Healthcare seek to offer their members financial
assistance to ‘self-fund’ treatments such as Specialist consultations and
diagnostic procedures such as scans thereby reducing the number waiting for NHS
treatment and freeing up waiting list spaces.
Equally, members are able to be seen faster by opting to seek private
treatment than they would have been awaiting NHS treatment.
For more information on how you can take control of your
healthcare from as little as £1.07 a week contact Orchard Healthcare on 01905
729090 to learn more about cash plans.