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Sunak and Tory government pledge an extra 120,000 NHS staff

The Tory government have pledged an extra 120,000 NHS staff to combat record long waiting times, but is it too little, too late? Find out more about the latest Conservative manifesto and how more and more consumers have been turning to health insurance to avoid long waiting lists.

A photo of Daniel Sharpe-Szunko, the author

By Daniel Sharpe-Szunko

Published on: 12 June 2024

3 min read

Sunak and Tory government pledge an extra 120,000 NHS staff

The Tory government has today released its manifesto ahead of the impending general election on July 4th 2024. In an effort to sway voters and in recognition of the significant issues faced by the NHS, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has pledged to increase staff levels by 120,000 and increase NHS spending to tackle health and social care issues.

Rishi Sunak said “we will continue to increase NHS spending above inflation in each year of the next parliament”. The Tory manifesto also said that it would increase NHS staff by more than 92,000 nurses, and a further 28,000 doctors in 2023.

Other manifestos from the Liberal Democrats yesterday had announced plans for a £9bn rescue package for the NHS for social care. The Labour party is yet to release its manifesto later in the week.

Overall, the NHS was mentioned a total of 56 times in the 80 page document from the Tory government. There is a 3 page section of the manifesto that is dedicated to addressing the issues in the NHS, starting on page 39 titled ‘Our plan to deliver better health and social care’.

Another pledge of the manifesto was to expand facilities, saying “we will invest in more and better facilities, continuing to deliver 40 new hospitals by 2030 and investing proportionately more in out-of-hospital service over time”.

The statement also says “we will modernise NHS primary care services and bring health and care closer to patients”.

NHS waiting lists have been at a record high, so these changes should ideally reduce waiting times for people across the UK.

People living on record long NHS waiting lists share their stories | Faultlines

This recent report from Sky News shared the stories of several people who have been stuck for months or years on long NHS waiting lists.

A recent report by the Medic Portal has highlighted the 5 key challenges that the NHS faces, including:

1. Lack of funding

Demand on NHS services has continued to grow in the past several years and funding has simply not kept pace with the demand, leading to a serious lack of funding in the organisation.

The lack of funding has also put extra strain on resources which has led to the much publicised longer waiting times, less access to medical treatments and procedures, and problems maintaining standards of high-quality services or care.

2. Staff shortage

We have been aware of serious issues with a lack of qualified staff in the NHS for several years. The shortage of qualified professional staff has led to a massive amount of pressure being placed on an already stretched workforce which in turn causes additional problems.

Additional pressure has led to issues with staff burnout from extremely long working hours, increased workloads, and a serious issue with maintaining standards of care.

3. Pandemic backlogs

The knock on effect of the recent COVID-19 pandemic is far reaching and long-lasting, with a long list of treatments or procedures still to be carried out. Even though we no longer talk about or feel the impact of the pandemic, it still continues to impact the NHS and its care.

4. Ageing population

Life expectancy has continued to increase over recent years due to the improvements in health and medical treatments for the population. With this comes additional challenges and strain that is placed on the NHS in treating the elderly.

The extra services that are required from an ageing population include long-term care, geriatric services, and end-of-life care.

5. Revolutionising healthcare needs

The advancement of medical treatments and medical technology means that the NHS needs to continue to change with these technologies.

The costs and additional strain on resources to keep pace with new technology, as well as having to constantly update its equipment poses a huge burden on the NHS.

Our own research shows that millions of households in the UK are now turning to private health insurance to help avoid long NHS waiting times and give them access to private medical treatment. This in turn ‘should’ help to reduce the amount of strain being placed on the NHS, but more importantly will help to guarantee treatment to those with health insurance.

We understand that the number of people enquiring about health insurance in the UK has increased dramatically over the past 3 years, since the pandemic. Our attitude towards the NHS has changed significantly and so has our perceptions of private health insurance.

Whilst private health insurance doesn’t necessarily solve the issues in the NHS, it does help to ensure that those with cover should avoid further medical complications due to waiting times.

There are several main health insurance providers in the UK, including Bupa, AXA, Aviva, Vitality, and The Exeter. Each of these insurers offers different levels of cover and provides different services to patients who need care.

If you need to get a quote for health insurance, you can contact one of the team of experts by calling 0800 009 6559 or CLICK HERE for more information.

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