Or have things changed?
We respond to the headline from the BBC https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-50397856 in regards from our perspective what is happening across Yorkshire.
Across Yorkshire greater capacity is being delivered through Independent Providers operating across Any Qualified Provider contracts helping deliver against targets set for the acute sector.
So why are they at the highest level?
There are several reasons for the increase:
Demand on the NHS is higher than ever
Staffing levels are not high enough to meet demand
Capacity across the system is needed
Demand on the NHS is higher than ever: we are all living longer with more complex conditions. Conditions that previously would have led to patients dying, are now surviving and with the support across the system are living a higher quality of life but this requires ongoing medical input.
Staffing levels are not high enough to meet demand: regardless of the various changes in contracts and arrangements there still are not enough trained nurses and medics in the system. The NHS needs more nursing and medics coming through training and into employment within the NHS and Independent Providers.
Capacity across the system is needed: Capacity is needed across the system to help achieve targets. This will become even more important as we head into the winter period when NHS Trusts come under pressure due to illness and injuries that present at this time of year. The system needs to be able to move individuals through the hospital and into the community as quickly and seamlessly as possible.
As always the advice has to be, if its not urgent then dial 111. They have trained people, nurses, and doctors on the phone ready to provide advice. Think about whether A&E is the most appropriate option.
How do LivingCare fit within the system?
LivingCare currently provide significant capacity across the system to enable patients to access Outpatient and Diagnostic activity. We have worked with LTHT to bring their Urology services within the required timeframes and have working with MYHT to bring Ophthalmology services within their national targets. We continue to work with both acute providers to support their patients in receiving care as quickly as possible. We continue to provide services across the system.