WOULD CARE QUALITY DETERIORATE?

  • The Health Foundation has predicted that Brexit could lead to the NHS suffering a budget shortfall of as much as £19bn by 2030-31, even if the UK is able to join the European Economic Area. If it is not, then the gap could be as much as £28bn, the thinktank warns, according to reports by the Guardian

    Survey by the Healthcare Financial Management Association (HFMA) also shows the following:

    • Over one in five (22%) of more than 200 NHS finance directors in hospitals and GP-led clinical commissioning Groups (CCGs) across England believe that quality of care will get worse during 2016-2017.
    • The above 22% is a sharp increase on the 9% who voiced that fear as recently as last November.
    • One in three finance directors fear that care will deteriorate in 2017-18 as a direct result of NHS's serious financial struggles

    Paul Briddock, the director of policy at the HFMA, said:

    "Fears around the impact the current financial turmoil in the NHS could have on quality are a real cause for concern and we may start to see more of these predictions come through in the year ahead." 

    According to the HFMA's latest biannual "NHS financial temperature check" report, due to a financial squeeze: 

    • "Respondents recorded waiting times in hospitals to be (76%)
    • Access to services (69%) and
    • the range of services offered (61%) were the most vulnerable" 

    "The HFMA's findings raise questions about the likelihood of NHS trusts in England keeping their overspend for 2016-17 to the £250m they have been told to adhere to and the service getting its finances back into the black after providers of care ran up to a deficit of £2.45bn last year."

    NHS England's chief executive, Simon Stevens has said that the 44 regional sustainability and transformation plans (STP's) across the country must succeed to make care more efficient and help the service finally balance its books.

    In a letter to NHS staff, while referencing the EU referendum, Stevens said:

    "Both leave and remain campaigned for a strong - and better funded - National Health Service. So the public regardless of how they voted will rightly want our new political leaders to deliver on that promise."

    The above message contradicts his warning last month that "the NHS would not receive extra money in the next few years than £10bn and suggestion that any budget increases, should instead be used to improve ailing social care services."

    What do you think? Please tweet comments @suppsolutions

    For more details, visit the Guardian

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