NHS in Crisis? North Herts health and social care providers must meet challenge of huge funding gap but are well placed to begin transformation

As the national media reported extensively this week, there is a huge hole in funding for health care which needs to be met by streamlining and transforming NHS care. But with huge changes already having been made, North Herts is better placed to meet the challenges ahead than many areas of the UK.

A report released by the independent health charity King’s Fund this week questioned whether recent plans drawn up by the NHS to meet a 22 billion funding gap by 2020/21 – known as Strategic Transformation Plans would be able to succeed without a lot more investment.

In Herts and West Essex as a whole there is a £3.1 billion spend each year on health and social care and it is estimated there will be a huge £550 million funding gap each year by 2020/21 if big changes are not made.

The transformation plans focus on some hospital closures, centralising care into hospital ‘super hubs’ and making more care available in the community to cut the problem of ‘bed blocking’ – where patients have to stay in hospital even when clinically fit because there are not enough places in social care for them.

Full Story on The Comet 24th February 2017