Good News/Bad News on NHS budget

Royal College of Nursing HQ, Cavendish Square....
Image via Wikipedia

The Good News is NHS budget in England to rise by £10bn this parliament  – bad news is that in reality front-line staff are already being cut

If you are like me, and need fingers to do complicated maths, my intelligent friends say this money is equal to a “rise of 0.1% above inflation each year”.

Even I can understand this is NOT good news, the way prices are rising.

While ministers say all savings from the efficiency drive will be reinvested into the NHS, unions are concerned about job losses.  The Royal College of Nursing (see photo) estimates more than 10,000 posts have closed in recent months and said if this trend continues patient care will be hit.

So Cameron and his team will really need to put their money where their mouth is, and go through NHS budgets with a fine tooth comb to see where savings can be made.

And in the meantime, whilst these complicated maths are going on, we are getting older, we are living longer (or does it just seem this way), and therefore have more things that can go wrong.  The way doctors give us drugs to compensate for seven minute rushed appointments, rather than half an hour of working out what actually is the matter – means that the drugs bill is rising dramatically.

We all need to lobby MPs – and do something to make politicians realise that even the smallest cuts impinge on the least fortunate in our communities.

NHS has asked to find efficiency savings

At the Macmillan, Breast Cancer Care and Breakthrough Events this past month, fellow delegates all had tales to tell of longer waiting times, fears over cuts in Nurses, only 19 Specialist Nurses for Secondary breast cancer, and fears they may be cut, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome treatment threatened by Andrew Lansley (even though it can be the result of Aromatase Inhibitors), etc. etc.

Efficiency savings are going to come at our expense – somehow the idea that Administrators were going to be cut, but front-line staff were staying – has gone out the window.  Currrently many junior staff are being told their posts are to be ‘re-aligned’, and a Business Manager is coming in, complete with power point presentation, to tell them what is going to happen to their jobs.  Does this smack of more Administration?

Chancellor George Osborne has said: “The NHS is an intrinsic part of the fabric of our country. It is the embodiment of a fair society”. i.e  if you live in Westminster – you should be able to get treatment on the NHS.  But not if you live in rural areas, which are already seeing services cut, longer waiting times, etc.  He also said social care would get an extra £2bn over the next four years.  But already those receiving home care are getting extremely worried;  they have been warned there will be cuts, but don’t know where and when.

Financial pressures

I really wonder;  it is me? Don’t I understand the system, or should I have learnt by now that when a Politican says jobs will be protected – no cuts – etc.  is the time to get very worried?

So the incredible mess that is now the NHS stumbles along, and although one wouldn’t wish it on anyone, the only way the juggernaut will be bought to a halt is for MPs to get ill, and patients to lobby and lobby their MPs about cuts BEFORE they happen.

But rest assured, the White Paper will be adding to the chaos come December 31st.

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2 thoughts on “Good News/Bad News on NHS budget

  1. Irene November 4, 2010 at 7:07 pm Reply

    Yes right to worry. My consultant says I’ll be Ok for treatment at the moment as they are in profit. What happens when the money runs out?
    We are living longer, GP’s are prescribing pills like sweets – no wonder there’s a crisis.

    • Verite Reily Collins November 4, 2010 at 7:26 pm Reply

      Totally agree – but wonder if anyone has actually done a cost analysis as to cost of an extra 20 mins of consultant time, v. cost of drugs that are prescribed instead in ten minute appointment as they havena’t time to work out what is wrong – so try the first drug and then go on to next. Sad

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