Hospital bosses warn things are to get worse
In an unprecedented warning to ministers, hospital bosses have warned that they will soon be unable to deliver the level of required to keep patients safe.
For the first time ever, trusts have warned that hundreds of thousands of patients will not be treated within the A&E target of four hours and will have to wait longer than 18 weeks for surgery.
Such long delays could cause some conditions to become untreatable.
NHS Providers, the organisation which represents the trusts, estimated that in the next year there will be 1.8 million A&E patients who won’t be seen in the four-hour target. That is an increase of nearly 40% on this year alone.
Chris Hopson, chief executive of NHS Providers, said: We now have a body of evidence showing that, with the resources available, the NHS can no longer deliver what the NHS constitution requires of it.
“We fear that patient safety is increasingly at risk. There is a risk of conditions deteriorating to the point where they may become untreatable.”
It’s not just A&E that will see increase. Planned surgeries will miss the 18-week target for 100,000 people. That is more than a 150% increase on this year’s figures.
Just carrying on as if demands on the health service can be delivered prevents the NHS from putting resources where they will make the most difference.
“It also risks misleading the public and delaying a much-needed debate on how we will meet rapidly growing healthcare needs.
“There must be an explicit statement about what will be deprioritised.
“This will be difficult but we need to take the most appropriate steps to protect patients”, continued Hopson.
NHS Provided have calculated the service would need an extra £2.5bn to achieve the government targets.
The Department of Health responded: “This report fails to acknowledge that the NHS has a strong plan to improve performance — backed by £2bn for social care and £100m for A&E announced in the budget.”
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