“NHS staff are brilliant but the service just cannot cope”: Brummies give their verdict on the NHS

We asked BirminghamWorld readers whether they believe the NHS is fit for purpose in Birmingham - and here’s what you’ve told us
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The National Health Service (NHS) is a cornerstone of the UK’s healthcare system, providing free healthcare to all residents. However, it has been facing significant challenges in recent years. 

The NHS is grappling with issues such as insufficient funding, staff shortages, and a growing backlog of cases. 

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Despite increased spending on health across the UK, the scale of budget increases has varied considerably - ‘The Department of Health and Social Care spending in 2022/23 was £181.7 billion’, according to The Kings Fund

‘This masks more substantial annual increases or decreases caused by additional investment during the Covid-19 pandemic,' they stated; putting the NHS under severe pressure.

We asked our BirminghamWorld readers about their thoughts on the NHS in Birmingham.

What were the main concerns raised by the readers?

The feedback was overwhelmingly one of dissatisfaction. 

One reader said “In my own opinion they cannot cope with the amount of people relying on it. We need a complete overhaul.. The NHS saved my life on two occasions and I’m extremely grateful for all they did to keep me alive. They are worth their weight in gold.”

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Some even suggested alternatives to make the NHS more to their satisfaction. 

One said, “Look at the ratio of managers to actual working staff...I think we could save a lot of money and be able to train and recruit more nurses if we drastically cut back on management.” 

BirminghamWorld readers give their verdict on the NHSBirminghamWorld readers give their verdict on the NHS
BirminghamWorld readers give their verdict on the NHS

The Birmingham World readers expressed concerns about long waiting times, inadequate planning, and chronic under-resourcing. Despite the hard work and dedication of NHS staff, many readers felt that the service just could not cope with the current demand. 

What steps is the NHS taking to improve its services?

In response to these challenges, the NHS has been making efforts to improve its services. 

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The government has promised to cut NHS waiting lists, meaning that people can get the care they need more quickly.

To support this, the department of health and social care has reportedly made up to ‘£14.1 billion available for health and social care over the next 2 years, on top of record funding to improve elective, urgent and emergency, and primary care performance.’

The NHS is also focusing on innovation and the adoption of the right digital health technologies.

Digitally mature trusts operate with approximately ‘10% improved efficiency compared with their less digitally mature peers’. The NHS is also working on transforming the NHS App as the digital front door of the NHS.

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The Prime Minister Rishi Sunak is even setting out a 15-year plan to recruit 300,000 more NHS staff in England, promising to “train more doctors and nurses through apprenticeships, and double the number of medical training places by 2031.”

What is the expected impact of these improvements on the NHS’s current problems?

These improvements are still in progress, and it remains to be seen how effective they will be in addressing the current problems faced by the NHS.

While the NHS staff are doing their best under challenging circumstances, the service is struggling to meet the demands placed upon it.

The dissatisfaction expressed by the readers of Birmingham World reflects a wider sentiment shared by many in the UK.

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It is clear that significant changes and improvements are needed to ensure that the NHS can continue to provide the level of care that the public needs and expects.

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