Summer crisis for depleted NHS hospitals

While many campaigners’ eyes have been focused on the football, or the ‘dead cat’ of the Health and Care Bill, professional bodies have been trying to focus attention on the crisis of capacity has been racing out of control in England’s hospitals.

The normally docile Royal College of Physicians chose the NHS 73rd birthday to publicise scary new survey findings showing more than a quarter of senior consultant physicians expect to retire within 3 years, many within 18 months – and pleading with government to pump extra resources into training new staff, giving the NHS “the best birthday present it could ask for – more capacity.”

The RCP argues for three things tight-fisted Chancellor Rishi Sunak is unlikely to agree — a doubling of medical school places, alongside increased spending on social care, and action to address health inequalities.

Meanwhile the Royal College of Emergency Medicine has focused on the extraordinarily high numbers of attendances at the more specialised Type 1 A&E units, and the even higher proportion of patients with conditions so serious they need immediate admission to a bed.

Full story in The Lowdown, 12 July 2021