9 effects of underfunding
We all want an NHS that has safety at the heart of its service to the public. There is now evidence, however, that lack of funding has already led to compromises in safety due to issues of staffing levels, rationing and delays in treatment.
A delay to a patient’s treatment can be due to various reasons, some are obvious, such as too few staff leading to a long wait in A&E or lack of equipment resulting in a delay to carry out a procedure or treatment.
The Government has always maintained that there will be no cuts to frontline services - money must be saved through efficiency savings, and the NHS budget is ring-fenced, it says. In reality the healthcare budget has been cut and frontline services are being axed.
Patient safety, as well as the NHS’ ability to drive down waiting lists and hit performance targets, is being severely hampered because the NHS has one of the worst records for capital investment in the OECD over the past decade. The NHS's backlog maintenance bill has risen to over £9.2 billion.
Training is very important in the NHS; the NHS needs to train new staff and it needs to keep its current staff up-to-date with changes in practice and innovations in healthcare.
The past few years have seen the NHS provider sector (NHS trusts and foundation trusts) struggling to cope with increased demand, due to a growing and ageing population, plus rising costs.