January 13, 2017

Solving the NHS winter crisis

Solving the NHS winter crisis

Migrants requiring non-emergency treatment, and who have yet to be granted the right to settle in the UK, must either hold insurance or pay for non-emergency treatment, says John Redwood.

Earlier this week Jeremy Hunt gave an honest and detailed account of the state of the NHS and its response to winter demand. He told us just how big the increase in demand for care and treatment has been. There are 9m more visits to A&E than in 2000; He reminded us that there are 340,000 more people over 80 than in 2010, the age group needing most NHS care. He explained how more and more people go to A and E at the hospital, when quite often they do not need hospital treatment. Around one third of those who attend A and E do not need to be there but could be dealt with by a GP or other local health professional. Despite the large increase in demand, most hospitals and trusts are coping a little better than last year. A few Trusts are performing very badly, have poor records on keeping people waiting and are being placed into special measures to improve them.

The NHS has a target of no-one waiting more than four hours at A and E. Clearly if on admission the person needs urgent treatment, that is what they should get without waiting 4 hours. The NHS recruited 1600 extra doctors and 3000 more nurses this year, to help cope. Since 2010 there has been an increase of 11,400 doctors and 11,200 nurses overall. The NHS also commissioned more GP consultations for the holiday period to try to reduce the pressures on A&E. Over Christmas and over New Year 150,000 medical staff were on duty in hospitals to deal with all the cases.

Clearly we need to continue to expand the NHS to deal with extra demand. We also need to help users of the NHS understand how it is organised and how it is best to use it. All UK citizens should be registered with a GP, and should normally use the GP as the first point of call for diagnosis and possible treatment. The GP should be the gatekeeper to the hospital system. Only where someone has a bad accident or a serious looking medical condition happens suddenly should they seek direct access to the hospital via A&E. We offer free emergency provision to anyone in our country.

New migrants to the UK should seek doctor registration for the free NHS as soon as they have legally settled here. Anyone not qualifying for free treatment should be informed of their need to hold insurance or to be ready to pay for non-emergency treatment should they need any whilst staying in the UK.

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John Redwood MP
John Redwood MP

John Redwood is the Member of Parliament for Wokingham in Berkshire. He was formerly Secretary of State for Wales in Prime Minister John Major’s Cabinet. He is currently Co-Chairman of the Conservative Party’s Policy Review Group on Economic Competitiveness.

  • gunnerbear

    Speaking of state services, John Redwood was a huge supporter of rail privatisation…of course the private rail companies now get more in taxpayers cash than BR ever dreamed of getting.

  • gunnerbear

    Hmm, The author of the piece writes…. “Around one third of those who attend A and E do not need to be there but could be dealt with by a GP or other local health professional.” Yet, the Kings Fund don’t think that is the case at all…. “Around 13 per cent of people who attend A&E are discharged without requiring treatment, and a further 35 per cent receive guidance or advice only (HSCIC 2016). This does not mean that all these people are attending A&E unnecessarily or could be cared for elsewhere. For example, someone who leaves A&E without being admitted may well have attended appropriately because they required treatment or assessment that only A&E could provide. https://www.kingsfund.org.uk/projects/urgent-emergency-care/urgent-and-emergency-care-mythbusters Hmm…who to believe…a politician who thinks the market can provide everything in a much cheaper and better way….the sort of politician who cheered and cheered for rail privatisation…. ….or a respected, research organisation….choices….choices….

  • Felt

    If you offer ‘free health care’ at the point of need to anybody who knocks on the door, don’t be surprised that millions accept your kind offer. I am sick and tired of our political class dancing around the real problem. Demanding in turn ‘more money’ be spent or else blaming the neglected old for increased demand. A curse on their house for deliberately avoiding the real issue. Those that pay for the service are well aware of the reality.

  • Derek

    Charging is the way to reduce demand at hospitals. Charge drunks £50-£100 per visit. Charge everybody the price of a prescription. Usually at a GP they will expect to pay for a prescription anyway.

  • Tad Stone

    My wife, a very experienced management consultant with success in saving councils money, recently spent 5 months working in our local NHS trust in a similar role. She was appalled at the waste of money, particularly on IT, and the low quality of management. Her opinion was that the NHS does not need more money but needs to use it wisely.

    My nephew, a recently qualified doctor, at a management meeting asked why not start with a clean sheet of paper and design the service needed rather thank tinker round the edges. Managers were aghast at the suggestion. Consultants said it would never happen.

    With this culture, and political inertia, there is no hope.

  • ethanedwards2002

    Don’t feed the trolls mate.

  • ukipwankers

    Solving the lack of intelligent thinking on the loony right:
    1) Dig a 6-foot-deep hole.
    2) Shovel fucking cretin Deadwood into it.
    2) Fill it in again.

  • David Ncl

    So if someone has a drink then becomes ill, has a stroke or a heart attack say – do you really mean to send them to the back of the queue?

  • Ned Costello

    Good point about the female GP’s, not enough people are aware of the issues surrounding the vast increase in their numbers (female medical students outnumber males in the UK) and their propensity to move to part-time working to start a family after only a few years of practicing. A very high percentage of them go into Child-centred medicine and move away from general practice, or abandon medicine altogether. This is despite the huge cost to the tax-payer of their training, many of them seem to have no concept of medicine as a calling or a vocation in fact.

  • The simplest solution is to get rid of the Tory Government, or, if that isn’t possible, stop listening to extreme right MPs like John Redwood who have an ideological hatred of state services.

  • Andypara

    I’ve surveyed nine friends and colleagues on their GP services. Of our 98 GPs 63 are females who work part-time, i.e. almost 65%, generally 2.5 to 3 days per week. If this is typical, it’s no wonder that GP services are failing the NHS. Ridiculous!

  • Ned Costello

    Redwood is a Fellow of All Souls, if you don’t know what that means then I suggest you Google it, if you know how. What’s more, the inability to sing the Welsh national anthem, in Welsh, does not mark him out as in any way unique in this country, can YOU sing it for example?
    You’re obviously one of the more obnoxious cretins to blight these pages, but at least you’re easy to spot.

  • ukipwankers

    Usual fucking shite from one of the weirdest and stupidest men in the politics of Britain – or indeed any other country. A lying cunt, a piece of laughable dogshit not worth wiping off your shoe. A man who couldn’t find his own arse with both hands.

    Redwood is a certified twat, someone who lives in a fantasy world composed of his own profound ignorance, garnished with the fact-free crap which goes round and round in the tiny fetid world of right-wing knobheads.

    A quick reminder of what a fucking bellend he is:



    Dead right sir.

  • SnowHare

    Long waits to see your GP are also exacerbated by no-shows (c. 150 missed appointments a month at my local surgery). The worried well can also be a nuisance.

    People don’t look after themselves, won’t consult a pharmacist and self-medicate, and expect a pill for every ‘ill’ from their GP.

    Because a two-three-week-wait to see a GP is no longer unusual, they bypass them and head straight to A&E because ‘the light is always on’.

  • Bik Byro

    Also, anyone who turns up drunk goes automatically to the back of the queue

  • ratcatcher11

    What has damaged the NHS is political correctness and the loss of a proper General Practitioner service. If GP’s did their job properly and that means female GP’s too who will be expected to work for a full working week and not part time, then things would change. Also cut immigration by making employers pay their medical costs not the taxpayer.

  • realfish

    88 million is one estimate, gathered from supermarkets, utilities and fuel suppliers, and that was a couple of years ago.

  • ethanedwards2002

    The NHS problem is too much demand or too many people. It’s what you get when officially the population of the UK is what 72m? The supermarkets reckon it’s over 80m based on food purchased. Since even illegals need to eat I choose to believe the latter.
    This is a direct consequences of twenty plus years of successive government too weak and unwilling to control our borders.
    Thanks cultural Marxists liberals and no Borders idiots. The NHS crisis is your baby..enjoy it.

  • BungleFever

    John have a look at this National Health Service flyer, pay particular attention to the line stating the NHS is not a charity.


  • misomiso

    The issue of the NHS is about a tyranny of Language.

    When the political class (Liberal Labour, Cameroon Tory), talk about the NHS, they MEAN the institution, but when the public talk about the NHS they MEAN their Healthcare.

    If the Tories could realise this, they would be on to a winner. Instead of saying ‘We should change to a Social Insurance model’, we could say ‘The South Korean NHS’, or the ‘Israeli NHS’, and then the public would be much more receptive to the ideas of reform.

    For the record, the best way to solve the NHS crisis is to go for something like the South Korean or Israeli model, but this has things that the tories don’t always like as they embrace price controls. Also doctors would hate it as they would earn a lot less!

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