YP Letters: Alarm bells should be ringing over state of NHS

Nurses are calling on the Chancellor to scrap the one per cent pay cap when he delivers his Autumn Statement. See letter
Nurses are calling on the Chancellor to scrap the one per cent pay cap when he delivers his Autumn Statement. See letter
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From: Katherine Murphy, Chief Executive, The Patients Association.

UNDOUBTEDLY, doctors, nurses, and NHS staff are under incredible amounts of pressure because they are helping more patients, on a smaller budget, with less staff support. The Patients Association appreciate the hard work and devotion that NHS staff give to their job every day. They should be recognised for the years of training and dedication they put in to do the job they do, not left demoralised and unappreciated. We recognise that many patients have a smooth and positive experience when visiting their GP or hospital. However, patients will be apprehensive that the General Medical Council has identified a growing state of unease, stress and low morale from doctors.

For the professional regulator to highlight this issue, alarm bells should be ringing in the Department of Health. We are particularly worried for the future of specialist health care, with gaps appearing in rotas and no suggestion that the funding situation is going to drastically improve. This is obviously something the Government needs to address urgently because patients deserve the best possible health care. The Department of Health should be focusing on nurturing, supporting and doing everything possible to retain our NHS workforce.

From: Mike Padgham, Chair, Independent Care Group, Scarborough.

NEWS from the United Kingdom Homecare Association (UKHCA) and the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS) that homecare providers are handing back untenable contracts adds yet more to the deepening crisis within social care.

UKHCA’s own figures show that cash-strapped councils are paying on average £2 less than the £16.70 the body says they should pay providers to offer a proper homecare service, which includes paying staff at least the National Living Wage. It says there is a £500m shortfall in the sector.

Little wonder that providers are rejecting contracts and more and more people are going without the care they need.

And with the cutbacks also damaging care homes – a quarter of them under threat to their very survival – in this perfect storm it is no surprise a million people now have an unmet care need.

We don’t need more reports or commissions – we need leadership, action and everyone to address this urgently, sort out funding and prevent yet more people going without the care and dignity they deserve.