latest health care news

12.04.18

NHS ‘must use spare capacity in private sector’ to counter pressures

Spare capacity in the independent sector must be utilised in order to ensure that patients access the fastest possible care, the NHS Partners Network, part of NHS Confed, has said in response to the revelation that the health system hasn’t met the 18-week treatment target for two years.

The comments come after NHS England’s latest performance figures, which show that it has been exactly two years since the NHS last met its target of treating 92% of elective patients with 18 weeks.

In fact, in the last 12 months, the number of patients waiting beyond the 18 week referral to treatment target has increased by almost 24%.

David Hare, chief executive of the NHS Partners Network, said millions of patients are “being forced to wait ever longer for vital procedures” as a result, despite this causing significant pain and disruption if untreated.

The government rightly committed more money to ensure ‘significant inroads’ are made into elective care waiting lists in last Autumn’s Budget,” he added.

“It is vital that this investment urgently gets to the frontline with the significant spare capacity in the independent sector utilised by local areas to ensure patients can access the fastest possible care, including through exercising their right to choose the best care provider for them.”

Niall Dickson, chief executive of the NHS Confederation, called the figures “startling,” with more patients than ever waiting over four hours in A&E for treatment.

“Our staff perform miracles every day but too many patients are being let down by an understaffed and underfunded system,” he continued. “And it is not just in A&E departments, the whole system – from family doctors and community services to mental health and social care – is struggling to cope.”

He argued that the fact that the NHS is no longer meeting targets reflects the “intolerable pressure” faced by those delivering frontline services.

“These are not just statistics – behind the numbers are thousands of patients who are suffering, some of them with serious consequences. We must not let this performance become the norm,” the CEO added.

Dickson welcomed Theresa May’s commitment to a long-term funding deal for health and social care, but warned that the “immediate and enormous challenge remains and we need to prevent this torrid winter rolling on to become a summer of misery.”

Have you got a story to tell? Would you like to become an NHE columnist? If so, click here 

Comments

There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment

 

national health executive tv

more videos >

featured articles

View all News

last word

Haseeb Ahmad: ‘We all have a role to play in getting innovations quicker’

Haseeb Ahmad: ‘We all have a role to play in getting innovations quicker’

Haseeb Ahmad, president of the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI), sits down with National Health Executive as part of our Last Word Q&A series. Would you talk us throu more > more last word articles >

health service focus

View all News

comment

NHS England dementia director prescribes rugby for mental health and dementia patients

23/09/2019NHS England dementia director prescribes rugby for mental health and dementia patients

Reason to celebrate as NHS says watching rugby can be good for your mental ... more >
Peter Kyle MP: It’s time to say thank you this Public Service Day

21/06/2019Peter Kyle MP: It’s time to say thank you this Public Service Day

Taking time to say thank you is one of the hidden pillars of a society. Bei... more >

interviews

Mike Farrar, Swim England - Last Word

07/12/2019Mike Farrar, Swim England - Last Word

Mike Farrar Chairperson of Swim England Would you talk us through... more >

the scalpel's daily blog

Unappreciated Qualities of Leadership: Hope

17/02/2020Unappreciated Qualities of Leadership: Hope

Independent consultant and strategic advisor Dean Royles continues his series on The Unappreciated Qualities of Leadership. You can find links to his previous pieces here. ... more >
read more blog posts from 'the scalpel' >

editor's comment

25/09/2017A hotbed of innovation

This edition of NHE comes hot on the heels of this year’s NHS Expo which, once again, proved to be a huge success at Manchester Central. A number of announcements were made during the event, with the health secretary naming the second wave of NHS digital pioneers, or ‘fast followers’, which follow the initial global digital exemplars who were revealed at the same show 12 months earlier.  Jeremy Hunt also stated that by the end of 2018 – the 70th birthday... read more >