NHS will be extinct without "billions" spent on reform

13 March 2014

NHS will be extinct without "billions" spent on reform

Outgoing NHS boss Sir David Nicholson says the NHS can only survive with billions in extra funding and that changes will be painful.

The outgoing boss of the NHS has warned that billions of pounds worth of extra funding will be needed to help force through “painful and unprecedented” changes during the next Parliament, whichever government is in charge.

Sir David Nicholson was speaking to the Guardian newspaper warning that whoever formed the next government they had to inject significant money and resources into the NHS; if they did not the NHS would not be able to survive on current budgets after 2015 with the way it is currently being run.

"NHS unsustainable at present levels"

The money-estimated to be in the region of “billions”-would be essential to improve specialist and GP services and to move to a different model of community-based care, thereby dealing directly with hospital-based treatment which was “unsustainable” at present levels in his opinion.

Mistreatment.com has heard from members of the public about their own concerns about how essential medical care is being rationed due to inequalities amongst funding specialist care departments; concerns which have often resulted in medical negligence claims due to significant underfunding, cash strapped departments and inefficient patient care outcome focused practices.

Nicholson further advocated the case for increased centralisation right through the NHS. Hospital care should be delivered on a community care basis in his opinion so that the NHS could deal better with the pressures of an ageing population, demand for new treatments as well as an increase in the number of patients with long-term conditions like diabetes. This streamlined organisation would downsize organisations providing specialist services as well as A&E centres.

"We know this change can be done," he said. "And we know that more preventive work in the community reduces demand on hospitals and that concentrating specialised services leads to better outcomes for patients.

"But it's hard to imagine doing all those things without some financial flexibility to enable us to do that, some kind of change fund that would enable us to do that", said Nicholson.

"Extra funding is indeed imperative"

If the NHS did not inject large amounts of money and reflect a more centralised model, Nichsolson believes the NHS would slowly decline over time with rationing of drugs, longer treatment waiting times, a decline in the quality of care offered and with even fewer nurses on the wards. If these changes were not implemented, public support for the NHS would collapse, he warned.

Professor Chris Ham, chief executive of the King's Fund health thinktank said that extra funding was indeed imperative:

"Our analysis confirms that it is now inevitable that the next government will need to find additional funding for health and social care. The alternative is to accept significant cuts to services that will harm care," said Ham, a former adviser to David Cameron on the NHS.

Mistreatment.com has a number of specialist departments which deal with enquiries relating to a variety of medical health complaints and medical related negligence areas. Mistreatment.com was created to listen to talk to people who feel that they had nobody at the NHS to listen to them when something went wrong. Members of the public who call through to us often want to raise an issue within NHS care so that somebody else is not affected the way their and their loved ones have been. Sometimes they call through to us to make a medical negligence claim because a financial settlement is needed to rebuild their life and to take care of their family. If you have experienced a form of medical mistreatment through emergency services, A&E or through surgery, for example, you can speak to the experts at Mistreatment.com