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Paul Sankey comments on NHS Cuts

Whilst the deficit is not reducing there are clear signs that NHS services are being cut. In a recent poll 79% of doctors thought cuts to services had affected patient care. Their concerns reinforce the views of family doctors generally and NHS Trusts.
There are other signs of worsening patient care. Waiting lists are going up and many patients have to put up with long periods of pain whilst they wait longer and longer for surgery. In particular the waits for hip and knee replacement operations are getting longer in many areas. Although they are often regarded as ‘non-urgent’ – the underlying condition is not life-threatening – patients are often left very disabled in the meantime. In one of my current cases a patient has waited over 2 years for surgery to put right a botched hip replacement. Meanwhile the patient is unable to work and struggles to manage ordinary daily tasks at home.
I would like to look forward to 2012 as a year in which patient care takes a higher priority, NHS care improves and I encounter fewer cases of medical negligence. In the current climate that seems more than unlikely.Paul Sankey is a Partner in the Clinical Negligence team.