From: Rachel Power, Chief Executive, The Patients Association.
THIS week’s reports are further confirmation of the deterioration in NHS performance in the face of rising demand and insufficient funding (The Yorkshire Post, October 18).
The reports highlight the impact this is having on patients: they are increasingly suffering long waits; some are feeling they have to pay to go private and some are simply not being seen quickly or safely enough.
A rise in demand for healthcare due to demographic changes has long been foreseen, and it was widely recognised at the time of the last two spending reviews that they did not give the NHS the resources it needs to meet this rise. It has done well to hold out for as long as it has – the CQC showed last week that care standards remain overwhelmingly high, albeit speed and access are increasingly problematic.
The answers to these problems are well known: we need much better care to keep people well in the community and reduce the need for hospital admissions. This means better services for older people with long term conditions, and much stronger prevention and public health.
The drive to tackle this started far too late, and remains inadequately funded. The transformation of NHS services envisaged in the Five Year Forward View needs to happen, with thorough engagement with patients and communities.
Funding must be made available for doing it properly, so that it does not amount largely to cuts and retrenchment.
And more funding and a fairer structure for social care must be found. These solutions are all obvious, yet we still await a full commitment to them from the Government.
From: Neil Richardson, Kirkheaton.
AN estimated cost of £2,500 per week is given for staying in a hospital bed (The Yorkshire Post, October 18).
Please could this figure be explained since it suggests patients (rather than other cost elements) are very expensive?
Would a ward running for a week with five fewer patients actually save £12,500?
From: Andrew Mercer, Guiseley.
WHY is Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt still in the job after presiding over five years of deteriorating services? Is the ultimate reward for failure or political proof that Theresa May is too weak to fire him?