Tag Archives: hospital

Hospitals must adapt to new world, says NHS chief

25 February 2011 Last updated at 01:21

Hospitals must adapt to new world, says NHS chief

By Nick Triggle Health reporter, BBC News

Private sector take-overs, mergers and more community-based care may be needed to ensure all hospitals survive the shake-up of the NHS, the head of the health service says.

Sir David Nicholson told the BBC the combination of reforms and squeeze on spending meant some hospitals would find the future “difficult”.

He said he did not expect any hospitals in England to close completely.

But said some would needed to adapt and change to remain competitive.

Sir David, who will become the chief executive of the NHS commissioning board when GP consortia are set up, admitted the health service was facing one of its toughest and most demanding periods ever.

The NHS budget is only getting annual rises of 0.1% above inflation for the next four years – the first time in its history that it has had such a period of small rises.

“It is a difficult settlement for the NHS, no doubt about it,” he said.

But he added it was partly off-set by the large rises the NHS has got over the past decade and should be seen in the context of the cuts elsewhere across government.

Half of wards filled by elderly people who should really be in care homes.

The number of hospital beds in England is on course to fall by a record 20,000 in a year, adding to fears about services being cut.

By Martin Beckford, Health Correspondent 7:00AM GMT 25 Feb 2011
New Department of Health figures show there are now fewer than 140,000 overnight beds in all types of hospital.

It suggests a record fall this year, raising concerns that entire units are being closed without services being provided elsewhere as the NHS tries to save £20billion in three years.

The figures will also heighten fears of a shortage in hospital places driven by the ageing population, as beds in geriatric wards have been among the worst hit in recent years.

A report published by Bupa yesterday (THURS) warned that the NHS faces an “intolerable” bed-blocking crisis that will see half of wards filled by elderly people who should really be in care homes.

However ministers insist that hospitals are now able to treat patients quickly rather than keeping them overnight on wards, and say not all trusts have submitted updated bed numbers and so the figures cannot be compared with previous years.

Dr Peter Carter, chief executive of the Royal College of Nursing, said: “A straight reduction in bed numbers does not necessarily equate to a decline in patient care. Many conditions are treated effectively in the community by skilled staff, who can keep patients as healthy as possible in their own homes.

“However, nothing should come ahead of the needs of patients. Any reduction in bed numbers needs to be properly planned with services provided elsewhere. Attempts to slash bed numbers simply for a short-term cost saving are irresponsible and entirely wrong.

“When the Government announced that up to £20 billion needed to be saved within the NHS, we were told that this money would be reinvested back into frontline services. We have yet to see any significant evidence that this is actually happening. We would urge the Government to highlight where and how these savings are improving patient care.”

Angry response to social care cuts

    by Sarah Bull, Huddersfield Daily Examiner Feb 25 2011

Consider the Examiner report on the protest by carers and disabled people against proposed cuts in services to vulnerable children and adults.

A group of desperate people, representing many others in similar situations, made their voices heard at Huddersfield Town Hall. According to councillors they were “rabble”, “loons’’ and “scaremongers”.

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