A damning chart which shows just why the NHS is in crisis

A number of trusts have announced critical incidents in recent days

London Ambulance

The NHS is in crisis, despite the government’s refusal to acknowledge it. Wait times in A&E departments and for ambulance attendance are rising exponentially. In August, the number of patients waiting for specialist treatment or investigation topped 7.1 million.

The president of the Royal College of Emergency Medicine, Dr Adrian Boyle, believes waiting times for December will be the worst he has ever seen, with claims that as many as 500 people are dying a week due to delays in emergency care.

A number of trusts have announced critical incidents in recent days, with ambulances having to wait for hours outside hospitals to transfer their patients.

The FT has produced a damning chart which shows one of the main reasons as to just why the NHS is in crisis. That reason being the lack of funding given to the NHS over the last decade.

As Stephen Bush of the FT notes: “A big part of the reason is that important word “now”. The NHS now gets about as much money as its peers, but in the past decade, UK health spending has fallen short of levels in similar countries.

(Picture credit: FT)

“This isn’t particularly complex or surprising. If you don’t clean your house for 10 years, and then you start to pay a cleaner to spend two hours a week tidying it like your neighbours do, it will be some time indeed before your house is anywhere near as clean as your neighbours’ homes.”

The damning chart above shows the extent to which UK health spending has not matched per head levels in other similar countries.

While Tory ministers may well try to blame Covid, the flu and fears about Strep A as the main reasons behind the severe pressures facing the NHS, it’s pretty clear that their lack of investment and funding in our health service over the past decade has played a major part in causing the crisis.

Basit Mahmood is editor of Left Foot Forward

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