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NHS Funding boost- a commitment to improving health services?

Every day we speak with clients who are dissatisfied with medical care they have received. We regularly hear stories of delayed surgeries, endless hours spent in hospital corridors waiting outside Accident and Emergency, difficulties obtaining appointments with GPs and patients stressed and anxious because nursing staff and doctors didn’t explain something, or they didn’t have time to listen. Clients regularly describe chaotic surroundings and multiple mistakes by health professionals often because they are rushed, due to the number of people relying on the service and the lack of staff treating these patients. These pressures are putting service users at increased risk.

It seems to me at the root of all these troubles is money and the lack of investment in our medical services, with every hospital and GP surgery running at absolute capacity.

Against a back drop of a stretched system and with reports suggesting a financial crisis in the NHS looms the recent announcement by Theresa May that there will be a £20 billion per year increase to the NHS budget will be music to many people’s ears including the medical staff and patients using the services (BBC).

The hope appears to be that this injection of money into the stretched system will enable the services to meet key patient waiting times and fund crucial research in areas such as cancer, primary care and mental health. We receive many enquiries in all of these areas where sadly people have not been given the care they need at the time it was needed, often with devastating consequences.

Although statistics reveal that the NHS has received rises averaging 3.9% a year since 1955,that has slowed to just over 1% a year since 2010 an eight year period of unprecedented austerity, which has certainly taken its toll.

A renewed commitment by the government to invest in the NHS will hopefully see an end to understaffing and the inability to meet A&E and cancer treatment targets.

At the recent annual conference of the NHS Confederation it was announced that funding would be used to deliver “a small group of bold ambitions” including new waiting time targets for mental health care, improve Britain’s poor cancer survival rates, make maternity care safer and complete the government’s declared mission of integrating health and social care services in England.

With such strong statements and renewed government support for the NHS, we can all be hopeful that there is an end to the ‘crisis ‘and a brighter future awaits.

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