The NHS: When will change come?
Thu 23 February 2023
The NHS has been in the press more than usual – there has been widespread coverage of the unprecedented strike action being taken by some of its workforce. The action suggests that NHS workers are desperate and that is why they have had to resort to such desperate measures. As to whether you agree with the position the workers have taken or not, it is undeniable that it has focused attention on these important issues.
All NHS organisations have been impacted by the strike action that is still ongoing. Upcoming dates in England include:
- Monday 6th March – GMB and Unite Ambulance workers taking strike action
- Monday 20th March – GMB Unite ambulance workers taking strike action
While the headlines focus on pay increases, the individual accounts that have been shared in the media have been keen to emphasise that while there is a pay issue, there are also worries about patient safety and an inability to provide proper care and treatment due to a number of problems which all seem to come down to lack of funding.
It is undeniably depressing reading about the problems facing the NHS and this article in the BMA really struck me as it discussed chronic understaffing, poor retention, declining wellbeing, growing pressure on general practice and insufficient funding to name a few. The problems are deep seated and come as a result of many years of neglect of the system that we all value so very dearly.
The strike action by the paramedics and nurses is unprecedented, the pressures on the NHS have got to breaking point and while there is never an easy fix to issues that are so complicated and far reaching, urgent measures clearly need to be implemented to make changes with a genuine desire to improve things in the short and long term.
However, we must remember that at the centre of all of headlines are the people on the ground who are being affected; these people are not receiving the standard medical care they are entitled to and often these are the people that the Clinical Negligence department end up hearing from.
While remedies are available for patients through the courts, this is not ideal in anyway. Compensation can go some way to making things easier, but we can’t undo the impact of peoples’ lives.
The real objective of course would be a good standard of medical care for all. What we must strive for is better patient safety by improving standards of care and this must come from leaders who are willing to commit to solving these issues and integrally, change must come soon.
If you would like to discuss a potential clinical negligence claim please get in touch with Nisha Sharma. Nisha is a specialist and is described by the Legal 500 as ‘…fiercely bright, hard working and loved by her clients. She achieves fantastic results for claimants in high value clinical negligence claims.’ You can email her directly by clicking the 'contact us' button or give her a call at the Hove Office on 01273 447874. For more information about our Clinical Negligence Department, click here.