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NHS buildings placing patients at risk due to lack of funding


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UPDATED

05 SEP 2019


You would assume that patient safety was paramount for the NHS, but there are concerns that people’s lives are at risk. We all know the NHS faces a lot of financial pressure, but a study undertaken by NHS Providers shines a lot on some worrying findings regarding patients’ well-being.

The findings suggest that a £4billion squeeze by the Government on capital funding is causing a range of serious problems. Peoples’ lives are being placed at risk due to fire and floods, while crumbling and overcrowded buildings are also problematic.

These issues are markedly different from the standard problems that the NHS faces. Due to a lack of funding and a shortage of NHS employees, there is an inevitable knock-on effect on patient healthcare. However, with a lack of funding causing structural issues to NHS buildings, there is an entirely different issue for people to worry about.

Lack of NHS funding is causing significant problems in many areas

While it is known the NHS lacks the money to invest in essential healthcare items like scanners, the organisation admits they lack the funds to fix leaking roofs and boilers. There are also concerns that the organisation has been unable to remove ligature points where suicidal patients have turned to, to end their life.

The study suggests 82% of Chief Executives and Chief Finance Offers in NHS Trusts in England are concerned the lack of capital funding poses a high or medium risk to patients.

NHS Providers interviewed a total of 161 bosses, and 97% of respondents said they were worried about the total sum of money their Trust requires to carry out urgent repairs. Also, a high number of these professionals, 94%, said they were worried about how their inability to overcome these issues impacts the experience patients have when in care.

Many Trusts across England have suffered

There have been many anecdotal instances of problems caused by buildings no longer being fit for purpose. An example comes with Kettering General being unable to see some of the sickest patients in their care.

An increased level of demand in the Accident and Emergency Department led to overcrowding, and this meant patients requiring specialist help did not receive support.

A spokesperson for the Department of Health and Social Care said; “We recently gave the NHS an extra £1.8bn of new funding to invest in frontline facilities, including 20 new hospital upgrades across the country. We’re also going to be taking a more strategic approach with a new health infrastructure plan that will set the priorities for the NHS over the long term.”

This funding may seem like a lot of money, but with so many NHS Trusts and buildings across the country, all with significant problems, this money doesn’t stretch very far.

At Atlantis Medical, we know the intense pressure the NHS is under, but these problems add another element of concern for patients. The NHS must receive support across the board to ensure patient comfort and care is maintained.

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