Critics argue today that NHS bosses must offer taxpayers value for their hard-earned cash, despite damning data showing that the system is performing worse than it did a decade ago.
Yesterday, it was revealed that the Government’s health spending has increased by almost 40% since 2010, while other critical parts of the country’s infrastructure have seen a mere 3% increase over the same period.
One thinktank of Conservatives fears that the NHS could’swallow’ even more billions out of the public purse and ‘beback shortly demanding more’ if ministers do not fix the problems.
The comments came after MailOnline’s analysis showed England’s health service now has 20,000 fewer beds than it did in 2010, which critics say gave it less room to cope with the Covid crisis and left the Government floundering to protect the NHS — which will get £38.7 billion in 2021/22.
Statistics also showed that the NHS waiting lists for routine procedures, such as hip or knee replacements, has more than doubled to 6million. There has been no increase in the number and quality of treatments in the past decade.
And the number of patients having to wait at least 12 hours to be cared for in A&E has consistently increased every year.
At the same time, it now has 180,000 more staff than it did a decade ago — including nearly 350,000 nurses.
HM Treasury data shows the NHS received £100.4billion in 2010/11 and its budget had grown steadily until 2019. In 2020, the NHS was given £129.7billion of core funding for its usual services, which was topped up with an extra £18billion to help with the pressures from the pandemic. For 2021/22 the Treasury said the health service is set to receive £136.1billion pounds of core funding, as well as £3billion to help with the Covid recovery
In January 2010, the NHS employed 1.2million people and it now employs 1.3million — a 15.4 per cent rise. This includes 30,000 more nurses and doctors, 2,500 more midwives, and 770 more ambulance personnel. The number of salaried general practitioners has increased by 65% to 11,000, while the number contractors has fallen by 27%, to 19,250
The average NHS employee now makes £35,000 — 20 per cent more than they did 10 years ago. Nurses and health visitors receive an average salary of £34,730 in England, compared to £29,600 in 2010. Meanwhile, midwives make £34,540 (up 13 per cent) and ambulance staff make £43,429 (up 21 per cent). And in general practices, contractor GPs make an average of £121,800 per year — up 11 per cent in a decade — while salaried GPs make £63,600 — nine per cent more than they did in 2010.
MailOnline spoke with John O’Connell who is the chief executive officer of the TaxPayers’ Association. He stated that, “Given the new tax on health and social care, taxpayers expect a certain level of care and will not tolerate funds being wasted.”
“Health professionals must ensure that every pound spent by the NHS is worth it.”
MailOnline was told by Professor Len Shackleton (Editorial and Research Fellow at IEA) that increases in funding for the NHS could be throwing good money after poor.
“Without a clear strategy for reform, we can expect NHS to swallow additional money and return soon demanding more.
‘Many more well-off people are opting for private medical insurance to avoid long waiting lists.
Part-time GPs are often used to treat the most urgent symptoms and do not have the time to discuss their health with patients who are less well off.
“Continuity is the future” The NHS’s overall performance in terms of mortality rates from heart disease and cancer is far below what one would expect in a wealthy country.
“Sajid Javid should insist on increased funding being matched by improved performance in key indicators like face-to-face consultations and patient after-care.
Matthew Lesh, the head of research at The Adam Smith Institute, said that the NHS was a blackhole for taxpayer money.
Every day, we hear of millions more being invested in the health system. But there are fewer beds than ever before, stagnant staffing levels, and record-high waiting lists.
‘It takes weeks to get a GP appointment and desperate patients are waiting hours and hours to be seen at A&E. Patient outcomes for common cancers and avoidable deaths are among the worst in western Europe — resulting in thousands more people dying.
“Just during Covid we saw the NHS fail to provide personal protective gear to staff while sending untested Covid residents back to care homes. Exorbitant spending is not delivering good value. The system is broken.
‘The NHS does not need more money. It needs fundamental reform to improve patient outcomes. The UK is not the only country that provides universal healthcare to its citizens. It is unusual to expect a state-run bureaucracy will do all the heavy lifting.
‘It’s time to look to Scandinavian countries, or perhaps France or Germany, that use social insurance models and have larger private sectors. Other countries provide better care for everyone. It is time to learn from other countries’ successful strategies, rather than burying our heads in the sand. If we truly cared for the NHS, we wouldn’t be blind to reform.
MailOnline compares the NHS in England’s treatment of patients to 2010 here
In a decade, health spending has risen by almost 40%
The NHS budget has increased nearly 40 per cent — whopping £38.7 billion — in the last 10 years.
The Government allocated the health service £100.4billion in 2010 and dished out a record-high £147.7billion in 2020, £18billion of which was for the pandemic response.
For 2021/2022, the health service will be given £136.1billion for core funding, which will be supplemented by an additional £3billion for Covid.
Think tank the Institute for Fiscal Studies questioned how the funding given to the Department of Health — and fed into the NHS — is ‘consistent’ with the Government’s ‘levelling up’ agenda, because education budgets have increased by just three per cent in the same time frame.
The Government has however defended the way it splits taxpayers’ cash, arguing the funds are needed for the pandemic and to support an aging population that lives longer.
The Prime Minister also last month announced an extra £12billion a year would be invested in the NHS and social care through a 1.25 per cent national insurance hike — which Britons will start paying in April. Over the next three-year period, almost all of the extra cash will be invested in the NHS.
MailOnline was told by Rachel Power, chief executive officer of the Patients Association that the NHS should have received more money “years ago” to ensure it had the resources necessary to care for the country’s aging population.
She said that giving the NHS “increasing amounts money to solve the problem is the best solution for our current situation.”
The number of staff increases by 15%
In January 2010, the NHS employed 1.2million people and it now employs 1.3million — a 15.4 per cent rise.
This includes approximately 30,000 additional nurses and health visitors, 2,500 extra midwives, and 775 more ambulance staff.
Meanwhile, the number of salaried GPs has increased by 65 per cent to 11,000, but the number of contractor GPs has dropped by 27 per cent to 19,250.
Nearly every department of the health system has needed more staff to meet demand.
While the NHS budget has grown and its workforce has increased, the number of hospitals beds in England has dropped by 14% over the past decade. In the first quarter, there were 123 707 beds to treat patients. This is down from 144 455 at the start of 2010. NHS England claimed that the Department of Health was responsible for the decline in beds. The UK has fewer beds per capita than other European countries. The vast majority (96.998) of these beds are used for general and acute care such as treating injuries or performing surgery.
According to NHS England’s latest figures, 5.7million people waited for elective surgery by August 2021. This includes nearly 10,000 patients who had been waiting for the surgery for almost two years. This is the largest number since August 2007 when official records were first established. It also marks the tenth anniversary of the landmark being reached during the pandemic. The backlog was 4.45 million before the Covid crisis. It includes people who are waiting to have their knee, hip or joint replacements performed, as well those who need cataracts surgery.
More than 5,000 people waited more than 12 hours in A&E before being seen by a doctor in September, a record high
Emergency admissions to A&E departments at hospitals in England stood at 506,916 in September 2021, up from around 430,000 recorded every month in 2010. And a record 5,025 people had to wait more than 12 hours at A&Es in England last month from a decision to admit to actually being admitted — the worst performance on record. In comparison, only one person had waited that long to be admitted during the last three months 2010.
NHS salaries creep up
Meanwhile, the average NHS employee now makes £35,000 — 20 per cent more than they did 10 years ago.
Nurses and health visitors receive an average salary of £34,730 in England, compared to £29,600 in 2010. Meanwhile, midwives make £34,540 (up 13 per cent) and ambulance staff make £43,429 (up 21 per cent).
And in general practices, contractor GPs make an average of £121,800 per year — up 11 per cent in a decade — while salaried GPs make £63,600 — nine per cent more than they did in 2010.
Anger flared earlier this month about the rise of the “part-time” GP. Campaigners demanded that family doctors work a minimum of eight hours per week in return for their taxpayer funded training.
Data from a Government-backed study showed that the average GP was only working 6.6 sessions per week prior to Covid, a drop from 7.5 sessions a ten year ago.
One in ten hospital beds has vanished
Despite the NHS budget and workforce growing, the number available in hospitals across England has declined by 14% over the past decade.
In the first quarter of the year, there were 123,707 beds to treat patients, down from 144,455 at the beginning of 2010. NHS England claimed that the Department of Health was responsible for the decline in beds.
The UK has fewer beds per capita than other European countries, and the vast majority (96.998) are used for general and acute care such as treating injuries or performing surgery.
A further 7,590 beds are in maternity wards, while 19,119 are for people with mental illness and learning disabilities.
As the pandemic spread, hospitals had to make patients more separated in order to reduce bed capacity. Last month, however, hospital chiefs relaxed social distancing rules in wards.
The crisis saw an increase in the NHS bed capacity due to the use of private wards and Nightingale hospitals.
For the tenth consecutive year, hospital treatment waiting lists have reached a record high
According to the latest figures from NHS England, there were 5.7 million people waiting for elective surgery as of August 2021. This includes almost 10,000 patients who have been waiting for two years.
This is the highest number of pandemic victims since August 2007, when official records began. It also marks the tenth anniversary of the achievement.
The backlog was 4.45 million before the Covid crisis. It includes those who are waiting for knee, hip, and joint replacements as well as cataract surgery.
The figures also show 5,000 people waited 12 or more hours in A&E before being seen by a doctor in September, which was also the highest number on record.
Waiting lists grew after hospitals were forced to cancel routine procedures and hand over entire wards for patients with coronavirus at the beginning of the crisis. It has been more difficult to reduce the backlog due to social distancing and other Covid precautions.
Longer waiting times for cancer treatment are a sign of a growing number of people
Official statistics show that a lower percentage of cancer patients start treatment within one month after being referred.
On average, 19,780 people were referred each month for cancer treatment. 98% started treatment within a month.
In the year up to August, a growing number of people are being referred for cancer care — an average of 25,300 per month — but now just 94.8 per cent began treatment within a month.
The pandemic will have an impact on the decline. Top doctors warned this Week that cancer treatment and surgery nearly halted when the pandemic hit, and expressed concern that the same could happen this Winter.
The decline means that one in 19 people waits longer than a month before their treatment begins, compared with 1 in 63 a decade earlier.
Despite September being the busiest month ever, the NHS reported that the NHS is still able to provide treatment and checks for cancer at pre-pandemic levels.
A&E waits reach record high
Emergency admissions to A&E departments at hospitals in England stood at 506,916 in September 2021, up from around 430,000 recorded every month in 2010.
And a record 5,025 people had to wait more than 12 hours at A&Es in England last month from a decision to admit to actually being admitted — the worst performance on record.
Comparatively, only one person had to wait so long to be admitted during the last three months 2010.
Sarah Scobie, deputy director of research at Nuffield Trust, said that the unfolding situation in emergency and urgent care services is troubling and that performance is not slowing down.
She blamed’severe blockages’ in the system, Covid’s continued demand, and an increase of colds and other respiratory illnesses.