Skip to main content

Rationing is fragmenting the NHS.

With rationing in the National Health Service there is a post-code lottery in treatment. An investigation by the British Medical Journal shows treatments available just a few months ago are no longer provided in some areas. This post-code lottery in available treatments is a shocking state of affairs, and is further evidence of a fragmenting health service.

There is no doubt the NHS is now struggling to cope with increased demand with limited resources. Commissioners and providers have had to face difficult decisions about how to prioritise limited funding and to balance their budgets.

Funding requests are a key marker of treatment rationing. An individual funding request can be made by clinician if they believe that a particular treatment or service that is not routinely offered by the NHS is the best treatment for their patient. As treatments become rationed or unavailable there is a concomitant increase in the number of funding requests.

Normally, the vast majority of treatments and services that patients need are offered routinely by the NHS, but the BMJ investigation shows that the overall number of individual funding requests received by clinical commissioning groups in England increased by 47% in the past four years. Thousands of patients are being turned down for funding each year, while many others are forced to wait for their treatment while their request is considered.

Whatever the government may say about NHS funding, what is clear is that funding per patient has fallen.

NHS Clinical Commissioners recently warned that Commissioning Groups would have £5.72 less to spend per person in 2019-20 than in 2016-17 under current funding from the government.

Clinicians are having to plead for funding for treatment for their patients. There has been a surge in funding requests for hip and knee surgery, cataract removal, and carpal tunnel surgery over the past four years and the consistently high number of mental healthcare requests.

Doctors have warned that rationing is leaving some patients in pain as they wait for treatment.







Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Ian Duncan-Smith says he wants to make those on benefits 'better people'!

By any account, the government's austerity strategy is utilitarian. It justifies its approach by the presumed potential ends. It's objective is to cut the deficit, but it has also adopted another objective which is specifically targeted. It seeks to drive people off benefits and 'back to work'.  The two together are toxic to the poorest in society. Those least able to cope are the most affected by the cuts in benefits and the loss of services. It is the coupling of these two strategic aims that make their policies ethically questionable. For, by combining the two, slashing the value of benefits to make budget savings while also changing the benefits system, the highest burden falls on a specific group, those dependent on benefits. For the greater good of the majority, a minority group, those on benefits, are being sacrificed; sacrificed on the altar of austerity. And they are being sacrificed in part so that others may be spared. Utilitarian ethics considers the ba

Mr Duncan-Smith offers a disingenuous and divisive comparison

Some time ago, actually it was a long time ago when I was in my early teens, someone close to me bought a table. It was an early flat pack variety. It came with a top and four legs. He followed the instructions to the letter screwing the legs into the top. But when he had completed it the table wobbled. One leg he explained was shorter than the other three; so he sawed a bit from each of the other legs. The table wobbled. One leg, he explained, was longer than the other three. So, he sawed a bit off. The table wobbled. He went on cutting the legs, but the table continued to wobble. Cut, cut, cut! By this time he had convinced himself there was no alternative to it.  He ended up with a very low table indeed, supported by four very stumpy legs and a bit of cardboard placed under one of them to stop it wobbling on the uneven floor.  Mr Duncan-Smith argues that we need a 1% cap on benefits to be 'fair to average earners'. Average  earners have seen their incomes rise by less tha

His way or none? Why I can't vote for Jeremy

There is an assumption that all would be well with the Labour Party if people hadn't expressed their genuine concern with what they consider the inadequacies of Jeremy Corbyn's leadership. If only, it is said, the Parliamentary Labour Party and his Shadow Cabinet had supported him, instead of undermining him, all would have been fine. If they had been quiet and towed the line, then the party would not have been in the mess it is in. So, should they have stayed silent, or speak of their concerns? There comes a point when the cost of staying silent outweighs the cost of speaking out. This is a judgment. Many call it a coup by the PLP. They paint a picture of a right-wing PLP out of touch with the membership.  This is the narrative of the Corbyn camp. But Jeremy Corbyn, over the decades he has been in politics, showed the way.  It was Jeremy Corbyn who opposed almost all Labour leaders and rarely held back from speaking out, or voting time and again against the party line. As