24 April

Every day the media still manages to find another hole in the NHS that needs covering, and another party manages to propose an answer to all the problems. But will the NHS ever truly be in a stable state again?

With GP and Nurse shortages running high along the news stories also, the moral panic for the healthcare system is at an all time high.

But there is reason this time to be wary of the NHS’s future. The Kings Fund charity has ran its regular report on how the NHS is performing and noted that the finances have shown an “alarming deterioration”. And furthermore, that there is “considerable scepticism” regarding the achievability of the £22bn target for productivity improvements outlined in the NHS Five Year Forward View.

It would appear that hospitals and NHS providers have overspent by £800 million. And we wonder why there’s financial problems…But like most economic situations, it’s a vicious cycle. Therefore all we really know for certain when it comes to the NHS, is that the struggle is true and will be long.

What we all need to do is find a solution. If patients can have an accessible place to go with their primary care problems, then staff can work in the environment where they are performing the work they signed up to do. Although healthcare environments will never be calm, or easy, there hopefully can be less pressure placed on the staff.

Instead of wanting to retire at the end of the day, GP’s and Nurses will just feel satisfied in their hard work.

However the health charity warned of no such luck to progress in the next 2 years.

This quarter’s survey of NHS provider finance directors and CCG finance leads revealed that:

  • for the third consecutive quarter, staff morale tops trust finance directors’ lists of concerns
  • fewer than half (45%) of trusts feel confident that they will achieve the productivity targets for 2015-16
  • 90% of trust financial directors and 85% of commissioners are concerned about the financial state of their local health economies
  • there is a mismatch in expectations about demand for services between providers and commissioners; for example, 80% of trusts expect emergency admissions to rise this year, while 60% of CCGs expect them to fall
  • about three-quarters (75%) of trusts and two-thirds (68%) of CCGs think there is a high or very high risk of failing to achieve the productivity gains over the next five years outlined by the NHS five year forward view.

Richard Murray, Director of policy at The King’s Fund warned: “The health service enters the new financial year facing some of the biggest financial and performance challenges in its recent history. If last year was the most difficult for some time, this year promises to be much worse, with little confidence that the alarming deterioration in NHS finances can be arrested.”

He added: “Looking further ahead, while there is still significant scope to improve productivity in the NHS, efficiencies are becoming harder to generate and there is considerable scepticism that the £22bn in productivity improvements outlined in the NHS Five Year Forward View can be achieved.” [1]

Whilst this doesn’t leave much room for improvement, and certainly a lack in positive attitude, we must prepare ourselves for many more months of panic and unhappy healthcare staff.

If you have any comments or advice for what you would suggest please get in touch!

[1] Onmedica.com,. ‘Onmedica – News – NHS Faces Greatest Challenges In Recent History’. N.p., 2015. Web. 24 Apr. 2015.

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