The future of the NHS is ‘precarious’, warned health watchdog the Care Quality Commission (CQC), on Oct 10.
Its report says the service is ‘straining at the seams’ as the number of people not getting adequate care hits 1.2 million.
The CQC begs the question how much do we value socialised medicine?
It seems not as much as we value holidays abroad, as more than 60 million people left the UK for a fortnight in the sun in 2014, and the trend is increasing.
The report raises concerns about staff shortages across the service and an ever rising demand, particularly from the increasing number of “older people who are physically frail, many with dementia”, and of “people with long-term complex conditions”.
Although the quality of NHS care has so far been acceptable, the report says that standards are likely to drop in the future, adding that “many providers could and should do more”.
Staff vacancy rates in the NHS have risen by 16% in the last two years, despite an increase in staff of 4%, and hospitals have been running with “occupancy levels consistently above recommended levels since April 2012”.
The report also says the number of people not getting support for their social care needs has risen to 1.2 million in the past year – an 18% increase.
However, Health Minister Philip Dunne insisted that the extra money already promised for social care, mental health and A&E services was “enough”
“With record funding and more doctors and nurses, the NHS was recently judged the best healthcare system in the world, despite pressures from increasing demand,” Dunne said.
Enough, Philip Dunne?
Do you know what you’re talking about?