Strategies to upgrade hospital standards in England: Rishi Sunak’s failure to solve the crisis of waiting lines in hospitals

Studies reveal that over 50% of hospitals in England and more than 67% of hospitals in London offer below-par care. According to the Labour Party, 120,000 patients awaiting NHS treatment passed away before receiving care. This article seeks to answer whether strategies to upgrade hospital standards in England are efficient enough.


Treating patients in hospital corridors

Official statistics show that strategies to upgrade hospital standards in England have failed, and most hospitals in England are in crisis. The Observer assessed Care Quality Commission (CQC) ratings of 254 general hospitals, excluding those offering specialised care or unit services. Among these, seven were deemed inadequate, and 122 were identified as needing improvement, comprising 51% of the total. Investigators highlighted concerns in hospital emergency departments, noting instances of patients being treated in corridors and lapses in diagnosing critical illnesses like sepsis and cancer.

Multiple postponement of patients’ surgery appointments

Due to the failure of strategies to upgrade hospital standards in England, many patients in the medical system have many problems. The story of the current treatment system problems goes back to the strike of doctors and healthcare workers in protest of salaries and the disorderly health situation, which has caused some patients to postpone their surgery appointments up to three times. “We have been watching a disaster unfolding across the NHS and have repeatedly warned about the threat to patient safety because of it,” said Rachel Power, the chief executive of the Patients Association.

A sharp decrease in the number of hospital beds in England

The failure of strategies to upgrade hospital standards in England has led to a sharp reduction in facilities. On the scale of each hospital bed per 1,000 population, the number of hospital beds in England has decreased compared to countries such as Mexico and Colombia. Doctors in England have been protesting for years against the Government’s indifference to the lack of facilities and human resources in the country’s public hospitals. They say that after years of ignoring their demands, they have gone on strike since last year as a last option to make society aware of the depth of the crisis in the public hospitals of this country.

Double increase in the death of patients waiting for treatment

Following the British Labour Party’s report released through several national media outlets, patient rights organisations labelled this scenario a “national disaster”. As per the party’s findings, 120,695 patients passed away while awaiting treatment from the National Health Service. The Guardian had earlier reported that the number of patient deaths while waiting for treatment in England has surged to its highest, doubling from around 60,000 in 2018 to last year’s figures.

The number of people waiting for routine hospital treatment in the UK has reached a new record, with more than 7.7 million waiting for hospital treatment. England’s National Health Service says three days of strike action by junior doctors in June led to the cancellation of 106,000 appointments.

Death of patients waiting for treatment in hospitals

As outlined in the Labour Party’s report, the director of the Royal Free London revealed that 3,615 patients awaiting treatment at the hospital passed away before receiving care. Additionally, 2,888 individuals faced a similar situation at Morecambe Bay Trust in Cumbria, while 2,039 were affected at Leeds Teaching Hospitals Trust.

Failure to allocate the necessary funds for hospitals in the past decade

British public hospital managers say that for more than a decade, the necessary funds have yet to be allocated to hospitals. As a result, hospitals are facing a shortage of human resources, equipment, and beds, and because of this, patients die more while waiting for treatment. The report of the House of Commons Library for the Liberal Democrats shows that compared to 2015, public hospitals now have 2,233 fewer beds (6%) while the number of patients has increased.

Regulation of anti-strike bill by Rishi Sunak government

The UK government is drawing up a bill (Minimum Service Levels) to ensure adequate service levels when public works strikes occur. However, Vishal Sharma, a senior member of the British Medical Association (BMA), says that instead of drafting an anti-strike bill, the Government can develop a credible proposal to prevent protests from escalating. He stated that the protesting employees do not want to go on strike and added: “Our position is clear. We will not allow the Government to continue to degrade consultants’ pay and pensions.”

The biggest strike in the UK healthcare system

The NHS Confederation, which represents all hospitals, warned that the medical appointments of increasing number of patients, including cancer patients, have been changed several times due to the strikes. Matthew Taylor, the chief executive of the NHS Confederation, warned that the recent strikes were probably the biggest strike the NHS has ever seen and will cause serious disruption to healthcare services. “This is much worse than before as we’re now seeing patients who have already had an operation cancelled due to industrial action be hit again with a cancellation to their rescheduled appointment.”

The dissatisfaction of the British with the performance of the health system

Recent research findings indicate widespread dissatisfaction among the British populace regarding the health system’s performance, attributed to a significant decline in medical services alongside extensive strikes by doctors, nurses, and ambulance drivers. A YouGov survey reveals that two-thirds of Britons perceive the level of medical services in the country as dismal, with 80% noting a shift in the situation over the five years post-Brexit.

Sunak’s failure to solve the problem of hospital queues

Since Rishi Sunak committed to addressing NHS waiting lists, that figure has surged by 360,000. Postponed appointments have soared to approximately 830,000, with three-quarters attributed to the recent junior doctors’ strike. Since the initial strike in March, around 580,000 appointments have been impacted. The National Health Service cautioned patients about anticipating substantial disruptions. Investigations indicate that the healthcare system under Rishi Sunak’s Government is under dual strain, and he’s yet to satisfy the British public in this domain.

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