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The next general election: what’s the State of health and care?

The next general election: what’s the State of health and care?
In a recent episode of the King’s Fund podcast, a panel of experts from the King's Fund discussed the pressing issues facing the UK’s health and care system. Led by host Ruth Robertson, the conversation delved into the challenges plaguing the NHS and the boards healthcare landscape.  

The episode began with a sobering look at the performance of health and care services post-winter. Despite the NHS consistently ranking as a top priority in public opinion polls, public satisfaction has plummeted to an all-time low. With waiting lists reaching alarming numbers and A&E wait times remaining concerning, the situation paints a grim picture for both patients and healthcare workers. 

The panel also examined the recent spring budget announcement, which injected additional funds into the NHS, particularly for technology and innovation. While these investments are welcomed, there’s a recognition that short-term fixes won’t address the underlying issues plaguing the system. Long-term sustainable funding is crucial for real progress. 

A significant portion of the discussion focused on the challenges faced by the NHS workforce. The latest NHS staff survey revealed alarming levels of stress, burnout, and dissatisfaction among healthcare workers. Industrial action, including strikes, further exacerbates these challenges, impacting service delivery and staff morale.  

Public sentiment towards the NHS has also soured, with satisfaction levels hitting historic lows. However, there remains strong support for the NHS model itself, indicating a desire for improvement rather than a complete overhaul.  

Saoirse Mallorie’s research on poverty’s impact on healthcare access further underscored the complexity of these challenges. Poverty not only exacerbates health inequalities but also hampers individuals’ ability to access early-stage healthcare services, leading to increased reliance on emergency care.  

The state of health and care in the UK is fraught with challenges, form overwhelmed services and stressed-out staff to disillusioned patients. Yet, amidst the gloom, there is a glimmer of hope – a recognition of the need for systemic change and long-term investment to build a healthier future for all.  

You can listen to the full podcast here – The next general election: what’s the state of health and care? 

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