It’s something that we’re usually able to access as soon as we need it, while it has also helped to transform the face of healthcare in the UK. The NHS is a service which many of us might take for granted, but could it be run better and more efficiently? It seems that many people in London believe that there are a few things which could improve.
A survey by First4Lawyers revealed that many people in the capital have a few issues with the NHS, the main one being how money is being spent. 67% of patients in London think that the NHS wastes money, which suggests that whatever money is there to use within the budget should be spent more intelligently, although other issues were raised in the survey as well.
Negligence is expensive
One of the biggest expenses the NHS currently faces is the cost of paying for successful medical negligence claims. According to the London Evening Standard, an average of £470,000 per day is paid out on claims by patients. Amounting to well over £150m a year, this money could be better spent on trying to prevent negligence from ever occurring, but some cases still come to light.
That of a mother who died after doctors failed to spot a tumour proves that the standard of care in some hospitals is far from perfect, but what, if anything, could be the cause of negligence. 44% said that poor treatment was caused by overworked staff, something which appears to be a chronic problem which is showing no sign of going away.
So little time
The issue of overworked hospital staff has been reported on extensively in the media. This could be reason enough for the government and NHS Trust management to consider hiring new members of frontline staff in order to share the workload and cut out incidents of negligence at the same time, but that’s not the only thing many experts are suggesting.
Listening to patients is another idea being pushed by people wanting to see widespread change for the better in the standard of healthcare. 44% said that they didn’t think doctors listened to what they had to say, but by changing that, there’s every chance that this problem could soon become history for many unimpressed patients.
Thorough checks in place
31% of Londoners said that in the past, they have been subjected to poor treatment in an NHS hospital or surgery. This stat alone shows that things need to be changed, but yet more steps are being taken in order to ensure that the standard of care improves. One such step is the introduction of thorough inspections performed at regular intervals in every hospital.
The reason behind the new inspections is to try and prevent further scandals akin to that which surrounded the Mid Staffordshire NHS Trust. In being more meticulous, inspectors should be able to find something that seems a little unusual and report it as soon as they can, while also helping to force hospitals into improving the standard of care.
Whatever the problems associated with the NHS in London, there is plenty of work to do. Given that 62% of people in London said that if they had the money, they would go for private healthcare instead, trying to compete with the private sector by just making a few changes could work wonders in improving the NHS’s image.