The House of Commons Public Accounts Committee reported that the pandemic
only escalated the problems that were already present way before the virus hit the
country in 2020. They say that services had started declining when targets were not
being met in 2016, since then it has only gotten worse with the strain on the NHS.
MPs have already warned that members of the public will see severe delays in
treatments for cancer, subsequently causing serious health consequences because
of this, with some dying earlier. There are also accusations that the government
have been failing to acknowledge the vacancy problem within the NHS, the
significant lack of healthcare members remains a problem for the industry.
Dame Meg Hillier, who chairs the PAC, said: "The Department for Health and Social
Care has overseen a long-term decline that is dragging our NHS and the heroic staff
down." And she was extremely concerned" there was still no real plan to tackle the
However, last month, the government stated that there is in fact a recovery plan,
which will see an extra £8 billion being invested over the next 3 years, which
ministers said would see 30% more patients treated.
Crucial to this will be the formation of the 160-community diagnostic centre network,
along with surgical hubs focused on high-volume routine surgery away from major
hospital locations - set to increase efficiency and reduce the chance of emergency
cases leading to cancellations.
The Department for Health and Social Care continues to defend the industry, saying
it has been investing more and more money into services throughout the period and
this new plan should have a real impact on the situation.