Patients have reportedly spent days on trolleys as a result of bed shortages in several hospitals. Within two years, Rishi Sunak has pledged to reduce the lengthy wait times for basic procedures.
Patients “deserve more than a talking shop,” according to Labour, and “too little, too late,” according to the Lib Dems.
In addition to chief executives and clinical leaders from NHS organisations, local areas and councils from throughout the nation, medical and social care professionals will also be present at the discussion on Saturday at Downing Street.
The conference also includes participation from Sir Chris Whitty, chief medical officer of England, and Amanda Pritchard, CEO of NHS England.
Senior physicians have claimed that the NHS is on a knife-edge due to lengthy delays for emergency care, regular procedures, GP consultations, and post-hospital care for patients. A cost-of-living crisis, a wave of strikes, and high flu and COVID rates are all severely straining the health system.
Health unions have been invited to meet with Health Secretary Steve Barclay on Monday to discuss pay for 2023–24 beginning in April. However, union leaders argue that the government must resolve the ongoing pay dispute for this year before doing so, and that the talks will not prevent planned strikes in January.
The purpose of the all-day NHS Recovery Forum, according to the government, is to discuss ways to “share knowledge and practical solutions” across the various regions of England.
The goal, according to Downing Street, is to address “the most crucial challenges” that the health sector faces, like delayed release and emergency treatment.
a representative stated: “We’re bringing together the best minds from the health and care sectors. We want to correct the unwarranted variation in NHS performance between local areas, because no matter where you live you should be able to access quality healthcare.”
Wes Streeting, the shadow health secretary, questioned why it had taken so long for Rishi Sunak and Steve Barclay to decide to pay attention to the health professionals who had been raising the alarm about the crisis the NHS for months.
In order to treat more patients at home, the English government has already announced plans to implement virtual ward beds, a new service to prevent thousands of ambulance dispatches for individuals who have fallen, and more financing for adult social care and emergency care.
To cut down on wait times for tests, checks, and scans, more than 90 diagnostic hubs have been built in locations like shopping malls and sports stadiums.
The centres allow general practitioners to refer patients without a hospital visit for treatments like MRIs and CT scans.
By 2025, the centres are to house 40% of all diagnostic work, according to the government. Additionally, it seeks to do away with 12-month delays by March 2025 and 18-month waits by April 2023.
Although there are now fewer individuals waiting longer than a year for regular treatment, experts believe there is still a long way to go. Two-year wait times have decreased since the pandemic.
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