Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Paying peanuts?

Labour have been keen to champion their 6.1% average annual NHS spending increase since 1997 compared to the Conservative record of 'just' 3.1%. If such increases "represent the largest sustained increase in NHS funding since its birth", why have nearly 25% of English hospitals just been downgraded for worsening performance?

Tougher targets and poor finances are blamed for the poor performance. Dr Gill Morgan, chief executive of the NHS Confederation says that "There is no doubt that finances remain tight for many NHS organisations as a result of significant cost pressures including pay modernisation schemes, and prescribing expensive new drugs whose costs run ahead of inflation." How much more money does she need to perform well? According to the IFS, the proportion of public spending that has gone on health and education has already increased from 25.2% in 1996-7 to 30.3% in 2004-05.

Thankfully, hospitals will not need to worry about tougher targets next year as the star ratings will be scrapped and replaced with a self-assessment "health check" and spot inspections. Another problem solved!!

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Wouldn't it be much better if it were up to patients to self-asses the hospital and decide whether it deserved the cash?

alfie said...

Our local hospital in Ormskirk is about to have its A & E services closed at the end of this month. 'They' say that this service is moving to Southport Hospital - but that's just bollox as they already have an A & E facility. What they really mean is that they are reducing the A & E facility in the West Lancs area by 50%.

I wouldn't mind but Ormskirk hospital has been completely rebuilt in the 1990's. Ormskirk is right bang in the middle of the district - and so is geographically in the most optimally efficient position to serve everyone fairly. Southport is on the coast - miles and miles away from some of the public it is meant to serve.....

Still, as long as those hospital managers have somewhere to park their Mercs and Beemers....