A report released by cancer support group Macmillan has revealed the extent of the crisis in the NHS. It shows that cancer patients are being forced to use Accident and Emergency (A&E) departments because of cuts to GP services. And there are concerns about patient safety because pressure on NHS staff is now “unrelenting”.
over half (52%) are not confident the NHS workforce is able to provide adequate care to cancer patients, given the current pressures it faces.
And these pressures have a huge impact on the patients who rely on the NHS. Because as the report reveals:
- 37% of the GPs and nurses surveyed said that cancer patients are attending A&E because they “can’t get help elsewhere”.
- 44% said that pressures led to delays in treating cancer patients “as early as they should be”.
- 31% reported that these pressures also meant that cancer patients “do not have the support they need to regain a good quality of life after treatment”.
As The Canary previously reported, 202 GP practices have closed or merged and not been replaced. And Jeremy Hunt is fully aware of this.
“This, that and the other”
In just five years…
Hunt has been Secretary of State for Health since 2012. Under his ‘care’:
- In 2012/2013, the NHS had a surplus of £577m. By 2015/16 the deficit was £2.3bn.
- Continued public health spending cuts since 2015 will create a loss of at least £800m by 2020/21.
- Nearly 80% of junior doctors took part in the first all-out NHS strike in April 2016. But Hunt’s failure to negotiate NHS pay led to another strike in September 2016.
- And as The Canary has reported, concerns about NHS ‘privatisation by stealth’ are well founded.
Lynda Thomas, Chief Executive at Macmillan, said:
it is now clear that many hardworking doctors and nurses are seriously concerned about how the health service is coping with the pressures placed on it… There is an urgent need to address these pressures.
And this latest report shows just how close to breaking point the NHS is under the Conservatives. Hunt and May need to listen. Or even better, they need to go.
– Support nurses to ‘Scrap the cap‘.
– Demand that Jeremy Hunt reveals secret plans for NHS spending.
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