Tuesday, 24 June 2014

NHS tops world healthcare table, and is second most cost-efficient. So why the cuts?!


SOURCE TELEGRAPH: Britain's NHS is the world's best health-care system, says report
The NHS has been declared the world's best healthcare system by an international panel of experts who rated its care superior to countries which spend far more on health. The same study also castigated healthcare provision in the US as the worst globally. Despite putting the most money into health, America denies care to many patients in need because they do not have health insurance and is also the poorest at saving the lives of people who fall ill, it found. Furthermore, the NHS spends the second-lowest amount on healthcare among the 11 – just £2,008 per head, less than half the £5,017 in the US. Only New Zealand, with £1,876, spent less. The UK came first out of the 11 countries in eight of the 11 measures of care the authors looked at. It got top place on measures including providing effective care, safe care, co-ordinated care and patient-centred care. The fund also rated the NHS as the best for giving access to care and for efficient use of resources. The only serious black mark against the NHS was its poor record on keeping people alive. On a composite "healthy lives" score, which includes deaths among infants and patients who would have survived had they received timely and effective healthcare, the UK came 10th. The authors say that the healthcare system cannot be solely blamed for this issue, which is strongly influenced by social and economic factors.

SOURCE GUARDIAN: NHS cash problems will get worse next year, finance chiefs believe
The NHS's financial problems are set to worsen next year, with more hospitals ending up in the red, the health services's finance managers have warned. Growing demand for care, pressure on A&E units and the need to hire more nurses to ensure high standards of treatment are driving up costs for NHS care providers, the Healthcare Financial Management Association found. Its survey of 188 finance directors of NHS organisations found that just 12% of 129 hospital finance directors believe their trust will achieve its financial targets in 2015-16, while 44% do not. Similarly, just one in four finance directors in GP-led clinical commissisoning groups, who commission and pay for care, said they would meet their targets. Professor John Appleby, chief economist at the King's Fund thinktank, said: "This report echoes our own surveys and highlights a truth now widely acknowledged within the NHS – that it is heading towards a financial crisis in 2015-16, if not before."


SOURCE BBC NEWS: Rise in NHS foundation trusts with deficit, says Monitor
A study of the 147 NHS foundation trusts in England has found the number of those in financial trouble has nearly doubled in a year from 21 to 39. Two-thirds of England's NHS hospitals are now foundation trusts. They are not directed by government so have greater freedom to decide on the way services are run. Monitor is also investigating a further eight for potential licence breaches for issues including performance failures and financial problems.

SOURCE BBC NEWS: 'Worrying shortage of senior NHS nurses'
The NHS has lost nearly 4,000 senior nursing posts since 2010, putting patient care at risk, warns the Royal College of Nursing (RCN). The NHS is in the middle of a tough drive to save £20bn by 2015. The government has claimed this can be achieved through efficiency savings and the frontline should not be harmed. But the RCN disagrees.

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1 comment:

  1. Reported in Pro Publica, hospital error in the US health industry is the third biggest cause of death in the US behind heart disease and cancer:
    http://www.propublica.org/article/how-many-die-from-medical-mistakes-in-us-hospitals

    "In 2010, the Office of Inspector General for Health and Human Services said that bad hospital care contributed to the deaths of 180,000 patients in Medicare alone in a given year.

    Now comes a study in the current issue of the Journal of Patient Safety that says the numbers may be much higher — between 210,000 and 440,000 patients each year who go to the hospital for care suffer some type of preventable harm that contributes to their death, the study says.

    That would make medical errors the third-leading cause of death in America, behind heart disease, which is the first, and cancer, which is second. "

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