Significant Changes Needed To NHS, Experts Say

The NHS Is In Desperate Need Of A Cash Injection, According To Healthcare Bosses

24.10.2014

Significant changes and a substantial cash injection are needed for the NHS over the next few years if it is to continue to operate, according to medical experts.

A five-year plan has been published by six leading healthcare bodies - NHS England, Public Health England, the Care Quality Commission, Health Education England, Monitor and the NHS Trust Development Authority - outlining several models that the NHS could adopt.

These include the establishment of larger GP practices employing hospital doctors to offer additional services such as chemotherapy. Surgeries could also be opened inside hospitals to prevent patients with minor complaints being needlessly admitted and taking up much-needed beds.

In addition, the experts suggest small hospitals should work together to form larger chains, sharing management duties, while more volunteers should be encouraged to get involved, with rewards such as council tax discounts being offered to those who sign up to help.

Furthermore, the plan says hospitals providing direct care to nursing homes could assist in preventing admissions.

The six bodies highlighted that a £30 billion shortfall is expected in relation to NHS services in the next parliament. The current budget is £100 billion a year, but it is anticipated that an extra £8 billion will be needed annually by 2020 if the NHS is not to suffer.

However, it is thought that adopting the ways of working outlined in the proposed models could save the health service in the region of £22 billion.

Responding to the news, chief executive of the Nuffield Trust Nigel Edwards commented: "This important report makes crystal clear that the NHS cannot continue with 'business as usual' if it is to meet the needs of a diverse and ageing population.

"It sends a firm signal to MPs of the dangers of any future NHS reorganisation and offers a starting point for politicians considering how to reform the NHS in the future."

Expert Opinion
Patient care should always be the top priority for the NHS and ensuring patients have access to the best standard of healthcare is a vital part of that. Reforms in the way the NHS operates have been raised and debated recently and now healthcare bodies in the UK have created a five-year plan designed to alter the way the health service operates and how care is provided to patients.

“However, it is crucial that any major organisational and structural changes decided upon do not put patients’ health and safety at risk. Any alterations must be implemented carefully and be consulted upon to ensure they do not negatively impact the care and treatment offered to patients. In our work we have represented a number of clients whose conditions have worsened or not been diagnosed to due failures in care and it is important these issues are taken into account when altering the way the NHS operates.”
Julie Lewis, Partner