LONDON (Bywire News) - The crippling weight of extensive 7.7 million patient waiting lists exposes an ailing NHS, beleaguered by a decade of failed Tory leadership, severe funding cuts and a reluctance to offer fair wages to health workers. The Corvid-19 pandemic skyrockets the frail health service into chaos, with a report laying bare the government's reduction in pandemic NHS funding and a lack of properly strategised emergency plans.
Sky News reports that the National Health Service (NHS), once a beacon of quality healthcare in England, is now drowning in a sea of patients that are in dire need of assistance. Its resources spread razor-thin due to a lethal combination of a blinding surge in patient numbers courtesy of the ongoing pandemic and a decade-long string of considerable funding cuts.
In collaboration with the Chartered Institute for Public Finance and Accountancy, a shocking report reveals that the past 13 years of Tory leadership have left the NHS unprepared and fragile. The assessment charts flawed emergency exercise plans, revealing the government's failure to infer meaningful insights from Exercise Cygnus, the previous major drill in anticipation of a pandemic.
The lack of strategic thinking by the government is strikingly apparent in their emergency plans, which according to this report were too heavily concentrated on the event of a flu pandemic, neglecting other potential health crises. The report highlights serious questions regarding the resilience of public services such as the NHS, indicating that, although emergency plans and command structures existed, they varied tremendously in their focus, detail, and adaptability.
While Brexit did inadvertently aid in providing the Department of Health and Social Care better clarity about possible disruptions to supply chains and subsequent amendments to drug stockpiling, the deep-seated issues remain unaddressed. Several adult social care services have grappled with inefficient national plans, poor communication habits between the central government and local authorities, and managing the vast number of care homes.
Amidst the challenges claiming the spotlight, an underlying colossal issue is the refusal of the government to dish out fair wages for staff, leading to high vacancies and burnouts, which only adds to the exploding waiting list numbers and hinders routine services.
With industrial actions expected from junior doctors and consultants, this nursing strike, of a nature unseen before, hints at an unfolding disaster, threatening to throw the already teetering NHS into further mayhem.
Despite the grim picture, the government and NHS England maintain optimism, ambitiously aiming to eradicate all 18-month waits by April 2023 and one-year waits by March 2025. However, they have yet to tackle the monstrous shadow of an overflowing A&E, delayed response times for heart attacks and strokes, and anxious cancer patients struggling for diagnosis and treatment.
The NHS, a once-heralded health service, bearing the brunt of a failed governing body appears to be losing its battle with painful waiting lists and a spiralling crisis. The desperate SOS from the beleaguered health service illustrates a distressing tale of scarce hope and rising despair for the ailing NHS to an indeterminate crisis.
(By Michael O'Sullivan)