HEALTH – Has common sense totally disappeared from government?

In latest reports concerning health service in the UK, studies show that accident and emergency department waiting times are becoming worse, and that ambulance services are missing response times.

Thinking just for a moment about this may give the answer. The services have less staff – less resources to handle the workload. The government has constantly cut and cut at the health budget so there is hardly any money left to spend on front-line services.

By creating health ‘trusts’, there are an incredible number of management layers and ‘boards of directors’ leaching money in salaries and benefits which could be put to much better use.

A little common sense might tell them that less money = less staff = less front-line resources = longer waiting times and less ambulances trying to cover the same amount of call-outs.

ONOF logoTherefore, it is damn obvious why NHS services in the UK cannot possibly meet government imposed targets while the system is as it is.

The money that is wasted within NHS trusts is obscene.

Dr Peter Carter, Chief Executive of the Royal College of Nursing, estimates that around £5 billion could be saved by eliminating wasteful practices and agreements from NHS trusts.

Some of the ways Dr Carter estimates the savings could be made:

  • Reducing the amount of unused medicine (current estimated waste £300 million)
  • Employing fewer management consultants (current spend around £1 billion p.a.)
  • Renegotiation of Private Finance Initiative building deals (currently costing in the region of £229 billion)
  • Improving staff well-being (estimated saving of £555 million p.a)
  • Stopping preventable conditions, such as bed sores (estimated current spend £2 billion p.a.)
  • Efficient sourcing of supplies (current waste estimated at around £500 million p.a)

All of these savings can be achieved WITHOUT cutting staffing levels or affecting the provision of service to the public.

In a survey conducted by the Royal College of Nursing in 2011, less than 1 in 10 burses believed that there were sufficient staff in their department, and the situation has got worse since then with more nursing positions being frozen.

It really doesn’t take much thinking to see where the problems are, and why NHS services are struggling with the targets set my government.

An additional £5 billion per year would pay for an awful lot of front-line staff. 

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