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There is a “lack of realism” about NHS finances, assessment suggests

There is a “lack of realism” about NHS finances, assessment suggests

There is a “lack of realism” about the quality of care the NHS can provide with the funds that are available, according to Nuffield Trust and Health Foundation’s annual assessment
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There is a “lack of realism” about the quality of care the NHS can provide with the funds that are available, according to Nuffield Trust and Health Foundation’s annual assessment.

The report – which looked at the quality of care being delivered to patients in England – warned that the conditions for maintaining care quality and improving services as well as meeting the financial challenge, “do not appear to be in place”.

It showed that performance against the four-hour A&E target in major A&E units reached its lowest level in more than 10 years (in the last quarter of 2014/15), and the number of people waiting more than four hours to be transferred from A&E into hospital grew from 167,941 in 2013/14 to 304,276 patients in 2014/15.

It said that this points to “a lack of realism about the level of quality the NHS can provide within the funds available; financial pressures on other services like social care and public health; and ‘some disarray’ at the top of the health service, exemplified by mixed messages on quality and finance from regulators and high profile chief executives leaving their jobs.”

In a foreword accompanying the Annual Statement, Nigel Edwards, Nuffield Trust chief executive and Richard Taunt Health Foundation director of policy jointly said: “The warning lights on care quality that we observed last year now glow even more brightly...

“People working in the NHS want to deliver high-quality care, but they are increasingly battling against the odds to do so… One thing that is clear is that patients cannot expect the speed at which they access care to improve anytime soon” they added.

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