The NHS is facing one of the most difficult periods in its entire history. Amid unsustainable pressure, at least 20,000 ambulance staff are striking for fairer pay and action to improve safety and quality of care. While there’s no easy fix for the many compounded issues leaving the health service near breaking point, certain measures and steps must be taken now.
Investing in hospitals
Urgent investment in hospital services is required to help the NHS keep up with soaring demand. If new facilities are built in hospitals, medical providers will be able to deliver a higher quality of patient care.
Furthermore, additional services where needed will help the NHS to meet public expectations on the experience of receiving healthcare. Some of the most critical improvements required in hospitals across the UK include:
- Reducing delays
With some NHS trusts promoting private healthcare services in a bid to remove waiting times, urgent action is required to get patients seen sooner. However, fixing the problem will involve understanding and addressing the structural issues at its core.
Trusts, therefore, need to ensure that hospitals are equipped with robust infrastructure and equipment. Power failures, problems with machinery, and outdated equipment all contribute to delays.
- Extending wards
Ward capacity is stretched more than ever before. Even with the NHS planning to buy care beds in an attempt to clear wards, the fact that more space is needed is unavoidable. From using plasterboard to create wall partitions in wards to building entirely new structures onsite, additional wards will be essential for those facing unprecedented mounting pressure.
- Improving safety
Quality of care is inextricably linked to the NHS. However, some trusts need urgent funding to help them deliver new initiatives to refine safety measures and improve the quality of patient care.
There are even some emergency departments where nurses and doctors physically can’t attend to every patient, leaving some unattended in medical emergencies. Opening new waiting and treatment areas could help patients to receive appropriate care more quickly.
How could the NHS maximize existing funding?
- Introduce fines
The NHS fundamentally revolves around ensuring a guaranteed healthcare service to UK residents – always free of charge. However, there are members of the public who deliberately abuse and exploit the service offered.
All patients deserve care, but it’s important to know that the NHS should be used only when it’s needed. From those who call 999 without an emergency to people who fail to attend an appointment without prior cancellation, individuals who cause unnecessary expenditure for the NHS could be fined appropriately.
- Invest in training and recruitment
Large recruitment agencies make profits through staff working in the healthcare sector when the NHS struggles to source its own employees. With this extra commitment and cost for NHS trusts, recruitment systems can be delayed, underfunded, or neglected.
As much as possible, the NHS needs to incentivize training for nurses, doctors, and other specialist healthcare workers.
If you’re looking for treatment, it’s easy to find services near you on the NHS. Through even the most challenging times, healthcare in the UK is accessible for all.