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Coalition government has damaged the NHS

The Tory party when in government always messes up the NHS. That is a given. We recall the crisis at the end of the last Tory government in 1997 with  long waiting lists and waiting times and with patients waiting on trollies in A&E because of a shortage of beds. Now we have the same long waiting lists, waiting times and patients waiting on trollies in corridors because of a shortage of beds. It is like Groundhog Day, a recurring nightmare. Tory governments should come with a health warning.

Now a damning report says that historians 'will not be kind in their assessment of the coalition government’s record on NHS reform'.

A major assessment of the coalition government's record on NHS reform by The King's Fund concludes that the upheaval caused by the Health and Social Care Act has been damaging and distracting.

We recall the promise that the NHS was 'safe' in Tory hands and that there would be 'no top down reorganisation'. The history seeks for itself. Not only has there been reorganisation, it has at best been fragmented and disjointed.

The new report highlights some positive developments as a result of the Act including closer involvement of GPs in commissioning services, giving local authorities responsibility for public health and the establishment of health and wellbeing boards. However, it criticises the decision to implement complex organisational changes at a time when the NHS should have been focused on tackling growing pressures on services and an unprecedented funding squeeze.

The changes have left the NHS organisation fragmented and without clear leadership.  Dispersing budgets formerly held by Primary Care Trusts between Commissioning Groups, NHS England and local authorities has created a situation where there  are no longer single population-based budgets for health care. At a time when it is more crucial to develop coordinated health and social care this has been counterproductive.

The coalition has left the NHS poorly funded, fragmented and unfit to meet the demands of coordinated health and social care.

 

Read Ray'a Novel: It wasn't always late summer 

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