Community Activists Network
NHS performing worse than previous years despite investment and ‘major drives’ to boost performance
More than half (51 per cent) of NHS trust's financial directors say patient care in their area deteriorated in the last 12 months, and waiting time targets have deteriorated slightly despite “major drives” to improve performance.
85 finance directors responded to the quarterly NHS monitoring analysis by the King’s Fund think-tank - accounting for more than a third of NHS trusts.
Just 6 per cent of areas thought services had improved in that time.
The King’s Fund warns that 4.1 million people are on NHS waiting lists, more than at any time since 2007.
The NHS continues to miss its 18 week “referral-to-treatment” target. In August 89.7 per cent of patients on waiting lists had been waiting up to 18 weeks – compared to 90.6 per cent last year.
However health secretary Jeremy Hunt did not mandate that trusts should meet the target this year - a decision the Labour Party claim broke the law.
Siva Anandaciva, chief analyst at The King’s Fund, said: ‘The fact that half of NHS trusts think patient care in their area has been getting worse is sobering and shows that the NHS funding pressures are now having a real impact on the people using its services.
‘This is happening despite the Herculean efforts of staff and NHS leaders working to maintain standards of care under huge pressure.
The King’s Fund says this should be a warning to the Chancellor Philip Hammond as he sets out his Autumn budget, as the current investment plan sees NHS funding “slow to a near halt”.
NHS England said it had £1bn into social care already this year to ensure that patients can be discharged from hospital in a timely way and freeing up capacity.
This is in addition to schemes to improve access to GPs and the 111 health helpline to prevent patients turning up at A&E.
But this comes amid news that nursing numbers have fallen for the first time in four years, as EU trained nurses look to leave in the wake of Brexit.
An NHS England spokesperson said: “As the CQC recently reported, the NHS’s high standards of care have been maintained and in many cases improved but in the face of mounting pressures as also set out by the Kings Fund."
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