A Withering National Health Service



The rising cost of running the NHS has not gone unnoticed by the government and it’s a worrying time for many of us who have grown up safe in the knowledge that we will receive treatment is we fall ill. We may need to wait forever and a day to get that treatment, but at least we receive treatment eventually. What happens though, when your funds cannot meet demand and you can’t delay treatment any longer? Well, that’s just what happened in Stafford when the NHS went into administration.

Safeguarding Treatment

In this instance, administrators will manage the foundation NHS trust until a suitable long-term solution is found. Recent reports on the sustainability of the trust showed that major services such as A&E and Maternity would probably need to close. The recommendation to close vital services followed bailouts from the government and failure to meet debt repayments, but what is the root cause of a failing NHS?

Complete Mis-Management

Some would argue clinicians had too much influence and that the trust would have worked more efficiently if it were managed by people with a track record of managing businesses in the public sector. People closer to the trust argued the trust management was by far the best team of people available and that demands were placed on resources that simply weren’t there. Whichever way the situation arose. It’s clear there was more money going out than coming in and the fact that the revenues were £4m down on the previous year was not a good sign for the trouble organisation.

Failing with Due Diligence

Okay, so we cannot expect to run our NHS with the same budget as a developing country, but we are paying much higher prices in the UK than we should be for exactly the same products. Add that to the rising number of prescriptions and we have a national crisis that is spiralling out of control.

According to the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee (PSNC), statistics in their Prescriber Dispenser Report (PD1) show that we have dramatically increased the number of items prescribed in the last few years with high point of 2007/2008 year high in January 2008 showing 65,000,000 prescriptions. The high so far between 2012 and 2013 was closer to 82.5 million prescriptions in April 2012. That’s more than one per every person in the UK. How can our nation be so unhealthy we need to medicate ourselves to such a high degree?

Lowering the Cost or Procurement

The process of procurement in the UK is so full of ridiculous red tape that it costs around £3,000 to buy a single computer system that we could walk into a shop and buy for around £500 if we wanted to as an individual. Surely the procurement process needs a drastic overhaul if we are clearly paying through the nose for products [and it is affecting our NHS’ ability to save lives.

The problem we have in the UK is remembering how to effect change in a manner that does not add more strain to the resources we have in place. To make any large policy change will itself cost millions that we simply don’t have spare.

Kathryn Williams is a procurement officer for a local NHS trust in South Wales who would like to see our trusts using low cost alternatives from online medical supply retailers like esuppliesmedical.co.uk/.

Kathryn Williams is a procurement officer for a local NHS trust in South Wales who would like to see our trusts using low cost alternatives from online medical supply retailers like esuppliesmedical.co.uk/.

About Author

LaDonna Dennis

LaDonna Dennis is the founder and creator of Mom Blog Society. She wears many hats. She is a Homemaker*Blogger*Crafter*Reader*Pinner*Friend*Animal Lover* Former writer of Frost Illustrated and, Cancer...SURVIVOR! LaDonna is happily married to the love of her life, the mother of 3 grown children and "Grams" to 3 grandchildren. She adores animals and has four furbabies: Makia ( a German Shepherd, whose mission in life is to be her attached to her hip) and Hachie, (an OCD Alaskan Malamute, and Akia (An Alaskan Malamute) who is just sweet as can be. And Sassy, a four-month-old German Shepherd who has quickly stolen her heart and become the most precious fur baby of all times. Aside from the humans in her life, LaDonna's fur babies are her world.

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