Recent headlines, disclosing the massive salaries of some NHS bureaucrats, comes at a time when the country hears how the crisis within the NHS continues.
News of how 93 health officials took home more than the Prime Minister’s £150,000 salary will not be well received by public voters, who are hearing about how the NHS is facing a ‘national emergency’, with long waits in A&E on trolleys, failing to hit the four hour target, and hundreds of routine and urgent operations being cancelled.
Latest statistics from NHS England show only 88.4% of A&E patients were dealt within the four hour time period in November. The target is meant to be 95%. But hospitals have not met that target since July 2015 as the NHS crisis worsens.
NHS England claims its emergency departments are unable to meet the target, because they cannot discharge patients, as many do not have the help at home needed in order to be able to leave hospital. The crisis is causing hundreds of patients to have both routine and urgent operations cancelled due to beds being blocked by patients needing care in the community to support their discharge. Hospitals in England cancelled 4,093 urgent procedures during 2016, equivalent to 341 per month. This is 8% more than the 3,777 scrapped in 2015 and up by 27% on the 3,216 operations cancelled during 2014.
Opposition parties claimed the figures, published in January by NHS England, showed problems in the health service were deepening, and the government was not giving it sufficient money to keep up with the rising demand for treatment. Dr Mark Holland, President of the Society for Acute Medicine said the NHS was now facing a "national emergency”.
Waiting 35 hours for a bed
Separate figures show A&E performance hit a record low, according to the Royal College of Emergency Medicine Continuing pressures on A&E departments put patients at significant risk as we hear of how two patients died in the accident and emergency department at Worcestershire Royal Hospital in January this year.
It is understood one of the cases a female patient, on an emergency trolley in an A&E corridor, suffered an aneurysm and later died in a resuscitation bay. Another patient died after suffering a cardiac arrest, on another trolley within the department, after having been waiting for 35 hours for a ward bed in the hospital.
Nine in 10 overcrowded
As news hit the headlines of how seven officials on the list published by the Cabinet Office, earned more than £200,000 along with tens of thousands in pension contributions, we hear how nine in 10 hospitals are overcrowded, and how NHS reforms will ‘fail’ and put patients at risk without urgent help.
Dr Sarah Wollaston, Conservative Member of Parliament for Totnes, urged Chancellor Philip Hammond to change course or watch the ‘suffering public’ turn against the Government’s running of the NHS. She criticized claims that the NHS was on a sustainable footing, insisting this was just not true as spending was failing to keep up with ever increasing demands.
Not a great time for news of your fat pay cheque to be making headline news!