Rachel Power, Chief Executive of the Patients Association, said: “Today’s reports by the BBC are further confirmation of the deterioration in NHS performance in the face of rising demand and insufficient funding.
“The reports rightly highlight the impact this is having on patients: they are increasingly suffering long waits; some are feeling they have to pay to go private; and some are simply not being seen quickly or safely enough.
“A rise in demand for healthcare due to demographic changes has long been foreseen, and it was widely recognised at the time of the last two spending reviews that they did not give the NHS the resources it needs to meet this rise. It has done well to hold out for as long as it has – the CQC showed last week that care standards remain overwhelmingly high, albeit speed and access are increasingly problematic.
“The answers to these problems are well known: we need much better care to keep people well in the community and reduce the need for hospital admissions. This means better services for older people with long term conditions, and much stronger prevention and public health.
“The drive to tackle this started far too late, and remains inadequately funded. The transformation of NHS services envisaged in the Five Year Forward View needs to happen, with thorough engagement with patients and communities. Funding must be made available for doing it properly, so that it does not amount largely to cuts and retrenchment. And more funding and a fairer structure for social care must be found. These solutions are all obvious, yet we still await a full commitment to them from the Government.”
Notes to editors:
The BBC’s main report can be read here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-41656667
There are examples of the impact on patients here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-41595555