Back

- STATE OF CARE REPORT- UNCERTAIN FUTURE FOR THE NHS

The State of Care report has been released this week (10/10/2017). The report at first glance is reassuring and highlights that care standards are being maintained. The report goes further and states that many services originally rated as inadequate have used the findings of inspections to make changes and improve their rating, this is despite growing demand and pressure on the system.  The report however delivers a stark warning about the future of our healthcare system and the difficulties the system faces in light of the complex needs of the people it is seeking to treat, this report casts doubt on the future of our health care system and whether standards will be maintained going forwards.

Social care for older people is one issue considered by the report with one in eight not receiving the care that they need in the community, costs have been pushed so low that companies are giving up contracts and people are simply not getting the help they need. Although there has been an injection of money into this sector there is no long term solution, a common theme throughout the NHS.

Dr Chaand Nagpaul, chairman of council at the doctors' union, the BMA,  has commented that

A&E targets still aren't being met, the number of people waiting more than 10 weeks for routine surgery is the highest it's been in nine years and waits of a year or more are the second highest since 2012. He adds the average waiting time for a GP appointment has hit two weeks, and many surgeries closed altogether last year.

Working in clinical negligence law we regularly see avoidable mistakes as a result of increased pressure placed on healthcare staff and staff shortages. Poor outcomes due to long waiting times or cancelled procedures are not uncommon. The report notes that between 1% and 3% of providers across the services were rated inadequate. There is also much care that needs to improve: 19% of adult social care services; 37% of NHS acute core services; 24% of NHS mental health care services; and 6% of GP practices were rated as requires improvement.These remain worrying statistics.

Commenting on the report, Sir David Behan, Chief Executive of CQC, said:

“As people’s health and care needs change and become more complex, a model of care designed for the 20th century is at full stretch and struggling to cope with 21st century problems”.

Despite the NHS recently being judged the best healthcare system in the world there remains a very real concern that the system will simply collapse under the ever increasing pressure placed on the services. The system is fragile and its future uncertain, a possible crisis in our healthcare system most definitely looms.

 To discuss this blog or a related issue with myself or the team please do not hesitate to contact us.