In the time before the 2015 general election, in late 2013 and throughout 2014, the Tories under David Cameron and George Osborne promised extra cash to prop up the NHS. The beancounters in the service were told it would be given a financial stay of execution on the funding shortfall the Tories had created, with the help of Nick Clegg & the Liberal Democrats, between 2010 and 2013.
Now it has been revealed that half of that cash promised didn’t even make it in to the National Health Service – as it was spent on treating patients outside the NHS. Operations, tests and other treatments were outsourced to private providers because NHS hospitals dealing with increasing demand and decreasing budgets did not have the capacity.
“This increase is TO SUSTAIN FRONTLINE NHS SERVICES AND KICK START TRANSFORMATION.”
Then Chancellor, now Evening Standard Editor, ‘adviser’ and part time back bench MP George Osborne promised an extra £2 billion in the Budget Statement of 2014. NHS England Chief Executive Simon Stevens was told that for the first time since Labour was in power the NHS would get an increase in funding.
But the Health Foundation Charity have stated that:
“more than half the money allocated left the NHS.”
Over £900 million of the £2 billion allocated went to Private Firms, whilst only £800 million made it in to the NHS Trusts. 15% of the NHS budget is currently being funnelled out of the system in this manner.
Anita Charlesworth, director of research and economics at the Health Foundation has a stark warning for the government and the public about the strains on the service and the problems with directing funds out of the NHS :
“The NHS is becoming an emergency service, as hospitals operate at full capacity to cop with the unplanned admissions caused by social care cuts. The government urgently needs to look at how to ensure additional funds reach nhs providers.”
The tories have seen the Red Cross declare the NHS under their government to be in a state of “Humanitarian crisis” in hospitals as volunteers have been drafted in to help staff, BMA chair Dr Mark Porter said:
“This intervention from the Red Cross highlights the enormous pressure the NHS is currently facing as conditions in hospitals across the country are reaching a dangerous level. The government should be ashamed that it has got the point where volunteers have been necessary to ease the burden.
“The devastating consequences of the lack of commitment to funding for health and social care have become all too apparent and patients are enduring one of the worst winters on record.
“Staff are working flat-out in extremely difficult conditions. The government must take responsibility for the patients whose care and safety is being put at risk and urgently get to grips with this crisis situation.”