Warning of worsening access to NHS6th July 2011
Senior health bosses have warned that patient access to NHS care will worsen in coming years as the health service faces unprecedented financial pressures.
Some 300 chief executives and chairmen were surveyed, with 40% saying the financial situation facing their organisations was the worst they had ever experienced while just under half (47%) said it was “very serious”.
And two thirds felt the pressures would intensify over the next three years with the NHS having to save £20bn by 2015.
NHS Confederation chief executive Mike Farrar said the warning from senior NHS managers should not be overlooked.
“The picture they paint is of pressure on money now and of pressure on money mounting down the line,” he said. “It is getting harder to maintain the great progress we have made on the quality of care and there is now real concern about the speed of access to services.”
Other findings in the survey were concerns that waiting times and availability of care will get worse with breaches of the pledge to treat 90% of patients within 18 weeks arising.
Shadow Health Secretary John Healey said: “This is further evidence of widespread anxiety in the health service, as financial pressures impact on patient care and we start to see the NHS going backwards again under the Tories.
“Meanwhile David Cameron and his Ministers are carrying on as if everything’s fine, pushing ahead with their huge and reckless top-down reorganisation and showing they are out of touch with the concerns of nurses, doctors and NHS leaders.”
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Title: Warning of worsening access to NHS
Author: Mark Nicholls
Article Id: 19020
Date Added: 6th Jul 2011