NHS beginning to crack under financial pressure, warns King's Fund

Although the NHS is currently performing well, 'cracks are beginning to appear' as financial pressures increase and waiting times rise, a King's Fund report has said.

King's Fund: report warns of risks to NHS
King's Fund: report warns of risks to NHS

The report, which looks at how the NHS is performing under the coalition government, said that for the time being the NHS is ‘continuing to hold up well’.

However it warned that government policy has resulted in ‘major organisational changes and the loss of experienced managers’ leaving the NHS in a ‘precarious’ position. 'As unprecedented financial pressures start to bite, cracks are beginning to appear,' the report warns.

The report said that much of the current government’s ‘ministerial rhetoric' about a shift away from targets and performance management had been gradual, with much of the previous system still in place.

King’s Fund director of policy Anna Dixon said: ‘The NHS is continuing to perform well but there are treacherous waters ahead.

'There are huge risks, particularly in ensuring that quality of care does not suffer with the further financial squeeze. The stakes for patients could not be higher, and frontline leaders will have a crucial role to play in meeting the challenges ahead.'

Responding to the report, health minister Lord Howe said: ‘We are giving the NHS an extra £12.5bn. In the meantime, it continues to perform very well. As the King's Fund themselves say - waiting times are down, hospital infections are down, and mixed sex care is at its lowest ever levels.’

Report findings

The report compared its findings to a previous review of NHS performance and found that since 2010, 12 acute or ambulance trusts were performing below par in respect of finance, and 15 foundation trusts finished 2011/12 in deficit.

There had also been a rise in emergency admissions for people with long-term conditions and in emergency bed days among the over-65s since 2010.

There had also been some improvements. The report found MSRA rates had fallen since 2010, and more than £10bn of planned efficiency savings have been delivered through the QIPP scheme.

Overall, the report concluded that more time will be needed to judge the impact of the reforms on NHS performance.

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Register

Already registered?

Sign in

Follow Us:

Just published

Coronavirus: Key guidance GPs need to know about COVID-19

Coronavirus: Key guidance GPs need to know about COVID-19

GPonline provides an overview of the key guidance relating to coronavirus, including...

GPs told to restore patient activity to pre-pandemic levels in new NHS England guidance

GPs told to restore patient activity to pre-pandemic levels in new NHS England guidance

GP practices have been instructed to increase activity, 'make rapid progress' on...

How to deal with patient requests for face covering exemption letters

How to deal with patient requests for face covering exemption letters

MDU medico-legal advisers Dr Ellie Mein provides advice for GPs on dealing with patients...

Should remote consultations be the default after COVID-19?

Should remote consultations be the default after COVID-19?

Health secretary Matt Hancock has suggested that general practice should follow a...

Government changes self isolation rules for GPs returning from abroad

Government changes self isolation rules for GPs returning from abroad

GPs and other healthcare professionals in England will now be required to self isolate...

GPs urge caution over health secretary's push for 'all' consultations to be remote

GPs urge caution over health secretary's push for 'all' consultations to be remote

GPs have accused the health secretary of failing to understand ‘the importance of...