- Created: Tuesday, 12 December 2017 11:21
- Written by Robert Clough
The NHS in England is again on the brink of a winter crisis. The extra money promised in November’s Autumn Budget has been calibrated to obtain electoral benefit for the Tories while keeping a chokehold on NHS spending. Key programmes to prevent the sort of disaster that threatened the health service last winter have failed. Bed occupancy rates are nowhere near safe levels. Reductions in delayed transfers of care – where a patient is medically fit for discharge but neither home care or social care are in place – are nowhere near target. Emergency admissions continue to rise. Hardly any A&E departments are meeting the 95% mark for treating patients within four hours of arrival; many are falling below 90%. Ambulance response times are deteriorating. Financial savings are nowhere near what is demanded despite a 1.7% improvement in productivity. 80% of Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) are considering rationing operations. Behind this lies the determination of government to reduce real-term funding of the NHS as part of its overall attack on the working class. Robert Clough reports.