NHS trusts around the United Kingdom have been ordered to draw up emergency plans due to the severe financial challenges that are facing the National Health Service, which have been described as “almost unprecedented.”
As a result of the growing financial crisis facing the NHS, trusts have been told to only “ensure vacancies are filled only where essential,” with nurses warning that such NHS cuts could potentially jeopardie patient care and hospital safety.
The orders have been issues by David Bennett, the Chief Executive of Monitor, the regulatory body of NHS England. He said on Monday:
“As you know, the NHS is facing an almost unprecedented financial challenge this year. Current plans are quite simply unaffordable.
“As I have said before, if we are to do the best we can for patients we must leave no stone unturned in our collective efforts to make the money we have go as far as possible.
“We are already reviewing and challenging the plans of the 46 foundation trusts with the biggest deficits. However, it is clear that this process will not close the funding gap and so all need all providers – even those planning a surplus this year – to look again at their plans to see what more can be done.”
The Royal College of Nursing has since expressed fears that decisions could damage patient care and have a negative impact on safety. Roger Goss, from Patient Concern, suggested that fewer staff will mean longer waits for patients, claiming that “longer waits for treatment will inevitably worsen patients’ suffering.”
As the NHS continues to face unrelenting pressure, it once again emphasises the benefits of telehealth platforms such as Now GP and how we can help to ease the pressure on the health service. By providing patients with convenient healthcare from the comfort of their own home, office or when they’re on the move, Now GP is not a replacement for the NHS – however, we offer patients an effective solution to help cope with the growing demands on the National Health Service.
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