The NHS has a new Secretary of State (also in charge of social care) after Jeremy Hunt was promoted to become Foreign Secretary. And he has written about this along with some of the challenges that the NHS faces.
Before I talk about the challenges (again), I would like to talk about what many find interesting which is the background of Matt Hancock.
I have stated before that I am not against the involvement of the private sector in the NHS, but that is with the proviso that they provide services as good as (or better) than what the NHS does. Sadly, due to the issues with funding and staffing that the NHS faces, this has not always been possible. Concerns have been raised by many opposed to privatisation with the alleged financial links of Matt Hancock to a charity that is thought to be anti-NHS. The NHS has recently had its 70th birthday, in the hands of a man who has taken money from those who wish to end it, is it safe?
The issues with staffing the NHS with enough doctors and nurses arose before him, but this is an issue that affects patient care when it comes to those involved in radiology as well as paramedics as well. The government had cut the NHS bursary to increase the numbers of nurses being trained, but just as had been warned before these cuts came into place, the number of people training to become nurses has fallen as a result of these improvements. The numbers of doctors being trained is to increase, but this number was cut earlier by the Conservatives. The cuts will be affecting the numbers of doctors graduating now and the increases in medical school places will take at least five years to make up the shortfall of junior doctors.
When it comes to the use of new technology, the NHS has not got the funds, and as mentioned earlier, the staff needed to make use of what it has now. Some of the outdated technology that some complain about is present as a backup in case of an IT failure as happened earlier (after funding to protect from this was cut). But while the increased funds for this is needed, there are more pressing financial issues facing the NHS.
I do wish Matt Hancock the best in this job, but it will be interesting to see if he addresses the concerns that have been raised about this links to the private sector. And hopefully he will not make inaccurate claims like Jeremy Hunt did which resulted in a challenge for a debate, which Hunt did not accept. Or take his children to A&E for an issue a GP could have addressed.