Rationing of recruitment, training and resources has gone on so long now that thousands of new doctors opting for a better life abroad …and those that stay know that the UK Health Services and Doctors cannot and will not cope…. 12,000 are needed but only 1/10th of this are training annually. If all those trained up were full time and worked for 9 sessions and 55-60 hours a week, we might cope a little longer. But the recent staff are predominantly female and young, and they want a life after training for 10 years….
The NHS is fighting an “endemic and unsustainable” cash crisis with risky and untested savings plans, the spending watchdog has said.
A split is emerging at the top of the government over whether the NHS can cope, the National Audit Office says in a highly unusual statement, and internal disagreements are undermining confidence in the future of the health service.
Financial stress is already harming patient care, with waiting times for accident & emergency and routine operations getting consistently worse, the NAO concludes in a report published today. It adds that unrealistic efficiency targets risk short-term and ineffective solutions and urges officials to properly test whether their target of £22 billion savings is feasible.
Meg Hillier, chairwoman of the public accounts committee, said the report showed that ministers and NHS leaders were “making pie-in-the-sky assumptions to maintain that they can still close the forecast gap in funding by 2020-21”.
The NAO appears increasingly concerned by NHS finances after hospital deficits almost tripled in 2015-16 to £2.45 billion. Even that figure was overly reliant on “technically justifiable” one-off accounting tricks, it says.
Figures released on Friday showed that hospitals were predicting an overspend of £669 million this year, even after a further £1.8 billion of bailouts.
For the first time the watchdog said that it perceived differences between ministers’ claims that the NHS has enough money and NHS England’s view. “Confronted as NHS England is by the pressures of rising demand for services, these signs of differences do not help build a confident feel about the future of the NHS,” the report says.
Worsening problems in the social care system have not been accounted for while diverting money from building and maintenance to day-to-day spending comes with unknown risks, it adds. Hospitals are also increasingly reliant on bailouts from central government, which were up 32 per cent to £2.4 billion last year.
Sir Amyas Morse, head of the NAO, said: “We repeat our view that financial problems are endemic and this is not sustainable.” He added that aggressive efficiency targets were pushing hospitals into the red.
John Appleby, chief economist of the Nuffield Trust health think tank, said: “The only conclusion one can draw from the NAO’s findings is that at present there simply isn’t enough money in the system for the NHS.”
NHS campaigners have been pressing for extra cash in tomorrow’s autumn statement, with social care deemed a particular priority. Jane Dacre, president of the Royal College of Physicians, said: “Not only is the NHS struggling to balance today’s books, but it is unable to invest in new plans for joined-up services that are needed to transform and improve care in future by bringing it closer to the patient, and save money in the long term.”
A Department of Health spokesman said: “We know finances are challenging for some parts of the NHS, which is why we have a strong plan to get back on track. We are already seeing progress, with 40 fewer trusts in deficit compared to this time last year.”
To add to all this the state of GP recruitment and sustainability is in reverse…
The RCGP has tried to make the training more attractive, but the “travel blackmail” will outweigh anything.