Yes , there are thousands of patients enduring 12-hour A&E waits every day, but this is not something that is totally at the door of the NHS.
For this is the effect of many years of insufficieent funding for both the NHS and also, Social Care, for, effectively they are both intertwined, for neither can exist without the other and it is about time this Government understood this.
But this is not, totally the fault of this Government, even though there is a lot to blame them for, but the fault of every previous Government. While the NHS has been funded, if not sufficiently, social care hasn’t been and since 2010 has been on a reducing funding basis, while demand is being ever increasing.
Social care has been in crisis for many years, not only major staff shortages, made worse due to Tory immigration policies, but major funding insufficienies, staff working rights and conditions of employment and a major failure of both Government and Socieity to recognise the importance of social care.
While, virtually everyone, even if only visits to their GP, use the NHS, but with social care it is only used by those in direct need of social care and many of them have been denided access due to shortages of finance and staffing, which in turn bring more demand on the services of the NHS.
Currently, many patients can’t be discharged from hospitals due to the lack of social care and, therefore, these patients are retained in hospitals when really there is no further need for health care, but some form of social care, even if for only a limited period.
So, hospials beds are not being released, so persons in A&E can’t be transferred to wards due to lack of vacant beds, so A&E are unable to to free space, thereby causing longer waits in A&E and in many instances ambulances not being able to transfer their patients into A&E, so reducing the availability of available ambulances to attend other persons in need of ambulances.
So, people are waiting longer for ambulances to come for them, causing their conditions to worsen, thus even more NHS help when, eventually they can be taken to A&E, thereby being in A&E longer when there.
Some Government Ministers are saying families should do more for their relatives needing social care, but, families have been doing so for years and years and them doing so has, in many ways, mitigated the demand for social care, but families can only do so much and in doing so the health of families have started to deteriorate, causing even more pressures on social care and more so on the NHS.
So, the failure of this Government and all previous Governments to fund, sufficiently, social care is now leading to this crisis in the NHS.
Social care can’t be ignoring anylonger, if the crisis in the NHS is to be solved, major investment in social care is extremely urgent. Yes, some £millions have been promised, but it is not £millions required, but £billions and without it we can say goodbye to the NHS.