Craig Fleming, Sector leader for NHS & Government Services at Aggreko, discusses how temporary power solutions ‘can alleviate pressure on a beleaguered NHS estate while also helping it to meet longer-term sustainability targets’.
One million people are treated by the NHS every 36 hours. Most of the time these patients will receive outstanding care free of charge, much to the envy of those with insurance-based systems. In recent years, though, service has been jeopardised by staff shortages, an ageing population, and, most importantly, austerity. Cost of treatment, meanwhile, has continued to rise, exacerbating a growing list of challenges for the NHS estate. The ‘parlous’ state of UK hospitals made headlines in 2019, when NHS Providers, the association for NHS Trusts and Foundation Trusts, published a survey that revealed serious concern among healthcare professionals. More than 160 Trust leaders said that the current climate of restricted capital funding posed ‘a medium or high risk to patient safety’, and could ‘undermine plans to transform the NHS’. Ninety-seven per cent were worried about their Trust’s requirement for capital investment, while 94 per cent believed it was affecting patients’ experience of care.
Worries continue to linger, even with the recent spending commitments for the NHS from the Prime Minister and Government. As Chris Hopson, CEO of NHS Providers, points out, this investment will help ‘on the ground’, but do little to address mounting infrastructure challenges found throughout the NHS. He said: “The distinction is important. Paying for more doctors and nurses, newer treatments, and more appointments and operations, is vital. However, what is the point if NHS staff are trying to deliver care in buildings with leaky roofs and broken plumbing?”
Declining funds for long-term investments
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