CNN on why the NHS is falling apart

A few points

  • In December, 54,000 people in England had to wait more than 12 hours for an emergency admission. The figure was virtually zero before the pandemic, according to data from NHS England.
  • The average wait time for an ambulance to attend a “category 2” condition – like a stroke or heart attack – exceeded 90 minutes. The target is 18 minutes.
  • There were 1,474 (20%) more excess deaths in the week ending December 30 than the 5-year average.
  • Data from November showed there were more than 7 million people on a hospital waiting list in England.
  • According to an IFS report, even after adjusting for staff sickness absences, there are 9% more consultants, 15% more junior doctors and 8% more nurses than in 2019.
  • Yet the NHS is treating fewer patients than before the pandemic.
  • According to analysis by health charity the Health Foundation, average day-to-day health spending in the UK between 2010 and 2019 was £3,005 ($3,715) per person per year – 18% below the EU14 [countries that joined the EU before 2004] average of £3,655 ($4,518).
  • During this period, capital expenditure – the amount spent on buildings and equipment – was especially low, according to the Health Foundation analysis. The UK has far fewer MRI and CT scanners per person than the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) average, meaning staff often have to wait for equipment to become available.
  • Hospital beds are particularly scarce. Over the past 30 years the number of beds in England has more than halved, from around 299,000 in 1987 to 141,000 in 2019, according to analysis by the King’s Fund, an independent think tank.
  • Neville, a consultant in a hospital, judges 2008 the “best” he has seen the NHS in more than 30 years of working in it. By that time, the NHS had enjoyed nearly a decade of hugely increased investment. Waiting lists fell substantially.

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