Chilling comments by Mike Farrer, Head of the NHS Confederation. Everyone should read them. The funding crisis in the NHS is so great that waiting lists are rising and we are ‘sleepwalking into crisis’. We are left with 3 choices:
• Maintain services and go bust;
• Let standards fall but stay afloat; or
• Keep improving and stay in the black – but how can this be done?
Just to keep solvent means ‘radically re-orienting services to reduce hospital stays and offer new forms of care. Put bluntly this means fewer hospital beds and fewer hospital based jobs’.
See his comments at http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2011/sep/26/nhs-cash-crisis-cuts-closure?newsfeed=true
It seems then that, with enough shortcomings already in care, the best we can hope for is a scaled back service. The worst is bankrupt Trusts axing departments and waiting lists growing ever longer. This is worrying news for patients. My own perspective is probably skewed by hearing stories day in day out of people who have suffered from serious medical accidents in hospital, knowing that only a fraction of victims consult solicitors (only 0.02% are thought to make claims).
Most us have benefitted from good NHS care in the past and value its work. Mike Farrar’s warnings sound an alarm.Paul Sankey is a solicitor specialising in clinical negligence. If you or a member of your family have a clinical negligence enquiry please call our expert clinical negligence solicitors on 0800 916 9049, fill in our short online claim form or email firstname.lastname@example.org and one of our specialist clinical negligence team will be in touch.