Doctors Explain the Cause of the NHS Crisis

Three senior doctors explain why the NHS is in crisis and what we need to do to undo the damage done.

Release | 14.04.23

Citizen Network Research has published Health Care Services in Crisis, a paper by three senior consultants from the NHS which sets out the real problems that are causing the current severe crisis in the NHS. 

Funding for the NHS has continued to rise; but this is is the same as all countries around the world. The NHS remains highly efficient by comparison with other systems around the world and much more affordable. But there are severe problems; these problems are not created by lack of money, they are problems created by shallow ideologies and bad management.

Dr Arun Baksi, Mr Amit Sinha and Professor Parag Singhal explain that the severe crisis the NHS faces can be seen at many critical points, and these are the real world issues that should be addressed:

As the authors state:

At the risk of stating the obvious, care services are meant for patients: their needs, accessibility of services and their expectations. For far too long these have been forgotten in the interests of bureaucratic or political ideologies whenever the services have been reorganised.

The paper contains 8 key principles for reform, including a need for all professionals to be involved in reviewing and improving productivity across the NHS. The idea that increased regulation, bureaucracy or markets can solve the NHS problems is demonstrably false. It is time to go back to basics, shift power back towards community, trust staff to do their jobs properly and focus on care and support that actually works.

Professor Clare Gerada, President Royal College of General Practitioners in a Foreword to this paper, writes:

As the NHS approaches its 75th anniversary next year, it is clear that reform is necessary in order for the organization to continue serving the needs of the UK's citizens. This reform must address the serious structural problems outlined in this paper, including the need to reform the way doctors are trained, to allocate funding more effectively, and to address the social care system and funding for long-term care needs. With these changes, the NHS can continue to thrive and provide high quality care for generations to come.

Dr Simon Duffy, Director of Citizen Network Research, said:

I am old enough to remember when these market reforms were introduced and we've now seen 30 years where NHS 'reform' has been driven by ideology, not by the wisdom of those who work in it nor by the expertise of those use use it. Despite waves of progressive sounding rhetoric the NHS is now more centralised than ever, and the linkages between the NHS and other public services, especially social care, are highly fragile. The future is an NHS that is increasingly human in scale and more connected and accountable to the communities it serves. This paper is a timely reminder of the real issues written by doctors who truly care about the NHS and the values it represents.

If you agree with the conclusions of this paper we would encourage you to share it with your MP and ask them whether they agree that it's time to stop the nonsense and create a more effective, integrated and human-sized NHS. 

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