Patients feeling the pain of government squeeze on NHS
- Published on Thursday, 15 September 2011 16:39
- Posted by Scott Buckler
Patients are feeling the pain of the Government’s demand for NHS hospitals to deliver £20bn in so called ‘efficiency’ savings’ said Christina McAnea, UNISON Head of Health, today
The warning comes as new figures show that the number of patients in England waiting more than 18 weeks, has soared by a third in the past year.
Christina McAnea went on to say:
“The financial pressure on hospitals is enormous and many have already cut staff and closed wards to save money. Delaying treatment is one way for hospitals to make economies, but it is clear that patients suffer as a result.
“Hardest hit are those waiting in pain for hip and knee replacements. Many will be old and frail and very worried about the long wait. Others will be stopped from working and may even be forced onto benefits. The operation can transform patients’ lives but, the longer the wait, the worse their condition becomes.
“Sadly, if the Health and Social Care Bill goes through, NHS patients are going to find themselves at the end of even longer queues. When the cap comes off the number of private patients that hospitals are allowed to treat, many will be tempted to ease their financial difficulties by pushing those with the money to the top.
“It is time the Government came clean and admitted that the NHS is struggling under a financial burden of its making. Instead of pushing through a Bill that will cost millions, the Government should be investing in improving patient care and bringing waiting lists down.”