Demand on the NHS is constantly growing, and this has made it more difficult to receive immediate care for injuries and illnesses. With budget cuts continuously being made to the NHS and the services it provides, as well as issues such as an ageing population increasing the demand for services, local hospitals are struggling to run efficiently and provide people with the treatment that they need.
Are hospitals meeting their targets?
In a BBC report earlier this year, while England’s hospitals met their targets in 2012-13 by 83%, none of their targets were hit in the year 2017/18, showing a significant reduction in the efficiency and success of the NHS in the UK. Not only this, but the NHS is far below its 95% target for 4 hour A and E waiting times, with only 84.2% of individuals being seen within the stated time. Additionally, waiting times for routine and emergency procedures are steadily increasing, with there being evidence to suggest that by 2021, 5 million people could be waiting for elective treatment and yet will be unable to receive this. In the lead up to this, the routine 18 month referral period target has not been met since 2016, leaving many people unable to receive the treatment that they need.
Is NHS performance worsening?
Charts show that NHS performance is, in fact, worsening over time, with targets on a serious decline since the early 2000s. This has been caused by budget cuts, an aging population, the changing technology used to diagnose and treat patients, and high targets for aspects such as waiting and referrals times and ambulance call-out periods. Due to this worsening of NHS services, the NHS will need an extra 6.2 million bed days by 2022 in order to treat everyone in need of medical attention.
What happens if you do not get the care that you need?
The lack of staff, beds, and the increasing demands on the service have led to an increase in the number of people making medical negligence claims against hospitals in their area. In fact, the NHS paid £2.4 billion in medical negligence in 2018, making a large dent in their funding. If you do not receive the care that you need, it is important to take the appropriate steps in order to get compensation. In order to do this, you should file a complaint from the NHS complaints system and complain to your local hospital in person if you are still using a bed there. However, if you are unhappy with the outcome of the, you have the right to speak to a medical negligence solicitor who can help you to gain the compensation that you need and represent you in negotiations and court. Local hospitals are under increasing pressure due to issues with funding and demand. However, there is no reason why you should be impacted negatively by the pressures on this service, and you should contact a lawyer immediately if the NHS’s failure to meet targets affects your health and your condition.