Think tanks say ‘political choices’ are behind England’s healthcare crisis

Experts from two think tanks say “political choices” and a “lack of investment” are behind a crisis currently gripping England’s public health system.

The National Health Service published it on Thursday Worst numbers ever To perform urgent and emergency care. The data shows long waiting times for ambulances and high bed occupancy rates, along with a staggering backlog of non-urgent procedures.

For months, hospitals have been experiencing high bed occupancy rates, in part related to a lack of adult welfare to support patients after discharge. This limits the number of hospital beds available, which in turn slows the admission of patients from emergency rooms.

This can lead to overcrowding and make it difficult for ambulances to deliver patients to hospitals. As a result, there may be fewer ambulances available to answer calls as vehicles and their teams are stuck in lines.

Experts say the Covid-19 pandemic has exacerbated underlying problems in the health service. Sarah Scobie, deputy director for research at the think tank Nuffield Trust He said in a statement: “The NHS should be on a journey towards recovery, but today’s figures reveal the truth: it is a crisis of health service resilience, years in the making, and the result of weak policy choices and underinvestment.”

She added that the month of December witnessed a “terrifying mix” of shocks for the NHS, with the spread of the Corona virus, a bad flu season and very cold weather, which increased the demand for emergency services.

Tim Gardner, senior policy fellow at the Health Foundation, echoed Scobie’s comments, saying in a statement statment“Today’s data shows the NHS is facing an emergency but the roots of that lie in policy choices made over the past decade, not cold weather or seasonal flu.”

He said there were no “quick fixes” for a service that faced “a decade of underinvestment…failing to address chronic understaffing, raiding capital budgets and long neglect of adult welfare”.

Ongoing pressure and a long-term shortage of the workforce have created intense working conditions for staff throughout the health service, many of whom are involved in the The continuous strike on pay. Ambulance and nursing staff have been out on several appointments in recent weeks with junior doctors Currently voting about whether to strike or not.

Industry figures have called on the government to negotiate with union leaders to try to end the feud.

Saffron Cordery, who chairs NHS Providers Hospitals Governing Body, said in a statement: “Boxes are now busier than ever with A&E attendance and late leaks at record levels.

“With pressure on the NHS from almost every direction, trust leaders face exceptional seasonal challenges amid the ongoing strike which has no sign of resolution.”

She said the government “needs to talk to union bosses about wages to avoid further strikes”, calling on leaders to publish a fully funded workforce plan to tackle the “massive staff shortage” facing the NHS.

But new NHS data showed some improvement, with delays in non-urgent measures falling from 7.21m to 7.19m. Those numbers are still high, but it’s the first time they’ve fallen since May 2020.

Dr Laila McKay, director of policy at the NHS Confederation, said: Permit: “The numbers show that healthcare leaders and their staff put in a tremendous effort and it’s great to see that pay off in lower waiting list numbers for the first time since the pandemic.”

But she added: “There’s no hiding the fact that the NHS is in the middle of a very raucous winter.”

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