And its coming under pressure from every angle.
This crisis, in part, is a product of
both the privatisation of social care and more recent cuts to local authority budgets (resulting in less money being allocated for care locally) by successive Tory governments. When vulnerable people lack adequate social care they are more likely to turn up at overstretched heaving hospital A&E departments needing to see a doctor, increasing the burden on the NHS and exacerbating the crisis no end. This is obvious to everyone, except the Tory government. Data from councils in 2015 showed they have been forced to cut £4.6 billion from adult social care budgets since 2009-10. That is equivalent to almost a third of net real terms spend. A further £1 billion was expected to be cut last year. Social Care is in crisis.
An elderly woman died after spending 35 hours waiting on a trolley in A&E, in a tragedy which exposes the depth of the NHS crisis. She was taken to Worcestershire Royal Hospital but could not be placed on a ward due to a shortage of beds.The patient suffered a cardiac arrest. She died in an undignified hospital cubicle with curtains pulled around the outside. A second patient at the same hospital, who was made to stay in a waiting room, died after suffering an aneurysm. There were claims that the hospital was in ‘meltdown’, with nurses in tears and patients lying on trolleys ‘three deep’ in the corridor. Accident and Emergency is in crisis.
I mean really Jeremy Hunt: do you realise we have hospitals are running out of beds and are being forced to treat adult patients on children’s wards in a frantic effort to keep up with what NHS bosses say is an unprecedented demand for care? This is serious, minister.
Jeremy Hunt won't tell you NHS hospitals have been ordered to hand over swathes of operations to the private sector to ease a looming winter crisis, according to leaked memos . Health officials have also instructed hospitals to discharge thousands of patients in a bid to reduce record levels of crowding, while managers have been banned from declaring “black alerts”.
So they have handed over all sorts to the private sector to ensure we have no winter NHS crisis, and look how that has gone.
How on earth does Jeremy Hunt hold any position of responsibility. A majority of staff can't stand the man, nor can I. His smugness towards his own grotesque failures make me feel sick.
If you tell a Tory - "NHS RIP" they'll tell you it means "reforms in progress", but we know different. We are the patients that rely on the NHS and we can see what's going on. The chronic underfunding has ensured the NHS crisis of 2017 will never be forgotten. The Tory media will already be focusing on Jeremy Corbyn's overdue library books or Theresa May's latest fashion purchase, we can't let this go away.
This crisis is the making of this government.