The NHS is in danger of singing ‘kumbaya’ as the Titanic sinks, a hospital director has claimed.
Milton Keynes University Hospital Foundation Trust boss Joe Harrison claimed health leaders ‘preside over a failing NHS’.
“I’m really concerned about where we are,” he told a roundtable attended by trustees from across the country.
His comments come on the back of a scathing report warning that the health service is facing its worst staff crisis ever that poses a “serious risk to patient safety.”
The parliament-led committee, led by Jeremy Hunt, claimed the government has no credible strategy to improve the situation as demand grows.
Former Health Minister Jeremy Hunt has admitted he is partly responsible for the NHS staff crisis, saying it is ‘too tempting’ for ministers to cut back on staff training when it will be a problem for the future government
‘Let hospital patients charge £8 a day and over-60s pay for their prescriptions’ suggests former NHS trust chairman
Patients must pay a fee of up to £8 for each day they are in hospital, a former health chief has suggested.
Professor Stephen Smith called on ministers to file charges to help cover the cost of expensive medical equipment.
The former chairman of the East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust also suggested that people aged 60 and over should start paying for prescriptions.
But critics said the proposals would end the foundations on which the health service has functioned since its inception in 1948.
Professor Smith outlined his ideas in a new book, proposing that patients pay between £4 and £8 up to a maximum of 28 days a year to help the struggling NHS.
The idea is modeled after the German system where patients pay €10 (£8.50) per night.
Professor Smith said: ‘I think the public would be willing to pay a little extra. Substance testing would ensure that the poor were not unjustly affected.”
But he was accused by the co-chair of campaign group Keep Our NHS Public of promoting ‘hazebrained ideas’ and ‘zombie policies’.
dr. John Puntis said: ‘Charging people to cover part of the cost of a hospital stay would be a fundamental departure from the founding principles of the NHS and show that the long-standing consensus on a tax-funded public service model of healthcare is really abandoned.’
The health journala trade publication for NHS leaders and senior managers, met trust directors on the current state of the health service.
During the briefing, Mr Harrison said: ‘I think we’re in danger of all sitting around the campfire singing ‘kumbaya’ as the Titanic sinks.
“We are at the head of a failing NHS. There’s no doubt about it.’
He added: ‘And if we go on like this, people have every right to say, ‘What the hell are we spending £150 billion on?’
Mr Harrison’s comments were shared by other NHS leaders, who said a lack of accountability over standards such as A&E waiting times would undermine public confidence in the health service.
Health leaders have repeatedly said that the staffing crisis is the root of most of the problems within the service.
Summarizing the situation, the Health and Social Care Committee said the NHS is now facing the ‘biggest staff crisis in its history’, with staff shortages posing a ‘serious risk to patient safety’.
Frequent job openings leave workers “disillusioned, overworked and at high risk of burnout,” the report warned.
The findings, which have also popped up in the social care sector, should ‘prompt ministers to action’.
Commenting on the report’s publication today, Mr Hunt, the country’s longest-serving health minister ever, told LBC’s Nick Ferrari that he was partly to blame.
“I have my share of responsibility,” said Mr Hunt, who was recently forced to withdraw from the Tory leadership contest due to a lack of support.
Critics have accused Mr Hunt, who was in charge of health between 2012 and 2018, of covering up his own shortcomings in workforce planning while booting into the current government.
Commenting in the actual report, he said: ‘We are now facing the biggest staffing crisis in history in the NHS and in social care, without still having an idea of the number of additional doctors, nurses and other professionals we are going to have. actually need.
“NHS professionals know there is no panacea to solve this problem, but we should at least comfort them that there is a plan.
“This must be a top priority for the new prime minister.”
Hospitals in England are now short of 12,000 doctors and more than 50,000 nurses and midwives.
By the beginning of the next decade, it is forecast that 475,000 additional jobs will be needed in health care and 490,000 additional jobs in social care, nearly a million in total.
Of the expected shortfall, the report stated: “The government has shown a clear reluctance to act decisively.
“The staffing plan promised in the spring has not yet been published and will be a ‘framework’ with no numbers, which we are told could follow in yet another report later this year.”
Heart attack patients waited an average of more than 50 minutes for an ambulance in England last month – almost triple the NHS target. There were more than 300,000 category two reports in June
The Committee MPs added that while some progress has been made towards recruiting 50,000 nurses, the government will miss the Tory manifesto pledge of 6,000 additional GPs.
‘The ongoing under-utilization of the NHS now poses a serious risk to staff and patient safety, both for routine and emergency care,’ they said.
‘It also costs more because patients present with a more serious illness later on. But most depressing for many on the front lines is the lack of a credible strategy to deal with it.”
According to the report, the NHS loses millions of full-time equivalent days due to staff illness caused by anxiety, stress and depression.
“As a result, many in a depleted workforce are considering leaving – and if they do, the pressure on their colleagues will increase even further,” it added.
Official NHS data shows that anxiety, stress and depression are consistently the most common reasons for health professionals to call in sick.
The most recent data shows that in February this year alone, 482,500 full-time equivalents were lost to staff taking time off for mental health.
A separate report from the commission’s panel of independent experts assessed the government’s progress in meeting key staffing commitments as ‘inadequate’.
MPs criticized the government and NHS England for failing to specify when safe maternity staff would be reached, a failure they said was ‘absolutely unacceptable’.
Maternity safety in the UK has come under increasing scrutiny this year after a landmark report in Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust found that 201 babies and nine mothers had died needlessly during two decades of poor care.
A similar study is currently underway at Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust.
Commenting on the committee’s report, Danny Mortimer, of NHS Employers, which represents staff leaders, said a large number of vacancies and an ‘exhausted’ workforce are a major challenge.
Patricia Marquis, of the Royal College of Nursing, said: ‘That persistent understaffing in all healthcare settings poses a serious risk to staff and patient safety should prompt ministers to act.’
A spokesman for the Department of Health and Social Care said the government was expanding the workforce of the NHS.
“We are increasing the workforce in health and social care, with more than 4,000 more doctors and 9,600 more nurses compared to last year, and more than 1,400 more doctors in general practice compared to March 2019,” they said.