13:34 29 November 2012
Based on King’s Fund report, the number of patients who are waiting in A&E for more than four hours has increased by 19per cent last year. This is reportedly due to an NHS funding crisis that has dragged on longer than feared.
Although the report concludes the NHS is holding up, it seems to be fearful that the serious financial constraint could begin to impact patient care as early as next year. It claims that the loss of experienced managers and major organisational changes could put the NHS in a precarious position.
The report states: “The NHS remains in the foothills of what is certain to be the longest period of financial constraint in its history.”
“Already there are signs that the impact on patient care could be felt as early as 2013.
“There is also an increasing number of providers - including foundation trusts and NHS trusts - in financial distress, with some experiencing serious challenges in delivering services of an acceptable quality.
It continues to read: “Leaders at all levels face a huge challenge to sustain the improvements in performance of the past decade.
“Failure to do so creates political risks for the Government, but even greater risks for patients, if the pressures affecting some organisations spread widely and rapidly. The stakes could hardly be higher.”
The report highlights the NHS’ improvement, which includes progress on hospital bugs and steps taken to get rid of mixed sex wards. However, it also states that the number of emergency admissions, together with the amount of time pensioners spend in hospitals, has significantly increased.
Anna Dixon, director of policy at the King's Fund, said: “The NHS is continuing to perform well but there are treacherous waters ahead.”
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