DR MAX PEMBERTON: Theresa May's NHS plan is a mere sticking plaster 

Mail Online | 1/8/2019 | Dr Max Pemberton For The Daily Mail
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A ‘once in a life-time opportunity’ to reboot the National Health Service for the 21st century and make it again the envy of the world. These were the Government’s words, not mine, to describe its ten-year blueprint, unveiled in full yesterday.

It was, I’m afraid, very far short of that. I fear it was a missed opportunity, amounting to little more than a wish-list sugared with a promise that the ‘innovations’ announced and an extra £20 billion a year by 2023 will help save 500,000 lives.

NHS - Doctor - Reports - Yesterday - Rhetoric

I’m sure that I’m not the only NHS doctor who, on reading the reports yesterday, shrugged and dismissed the political rhetoric. One more plan, like the scores of others since the founding of the NHS in 1948, that ministers trumpet will secure its future, when those of us on the front line know it will do nothing of the sort.

In promising simply more and better in a super, shiny high-tech environment while ‘boosting efficiency and cutting waste’ — how politicians love that phrase! — it fails to tackle head-on the problems that confront staff every day, stretching services to the limit.

Staff - Shortages - Pressure - Hospital - Beds

Staff shortages, the pressure on hospital beds because of a failure in social care provision, A&E departments that are close to breaking point, the mushrooming demands from an ageing population and the ‘lifestyle’ illnesses caused by the obesity epidemic — where was the new thinking on these challenges?

But I’ll start with the good news. I have no doubt that Theresa May cares passionately about the NHS, as indeed does the chief executive of NHS England Simon Stevens.

One - Ambition - Blueprint - Funding - Vision

No one can fault the ambition of their blueprint or fail to welcome the extra funding. As a vision of a 21st-century health service, it is indeed inspirational.

Who could possibly disagree with making Britain the ‘best place in the...
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