- Sajid Javid preparing to seize control of poorly performing hospitals
- One in ten people in England are on the waiting list for routine operations
- Health secretary is encouraging businessmen to take hospital positions
Sajid Javid is believed to be creating new powers to take control of poorly performing hospitals
Hospital owners who fail to clear the record-long NHS waiting list could face a setback in the healthcare system, it claimed today.
Health Secretary Sajid Javid is creating new powers to take control of hospitals that are not performing well many times.
Addressing a fringe event at the Tory conference last night, he said officials needed to stop ‘throwing cash’ at the NHS – and called for ‘significant reforms that take that money much further’.
One in ten people in England are on a waiting list for an operation, with numbers expected to continue to rise in the wake of the COVID pandemic.
NHS data showed that 5.6 million people across the country were waiting for elective surgery in July – the most since records began in 2007.
Mr Javid today urged patients waiting for long hours due to the backlog of routine procedures – which increased during the COVID pandemic – not to go private.
He insisted that the healthcare “could manage it” but declined to say that he expected the lists to be clear on his hundredth day in the job.
Meanwhile, Mr Javid acknowledged that remote GP appointments on healthcare are here to stay after the pandemic.
The number of patients awaiting routine hospital treatment rose to 5.6 million in July, the highest figure since records began in 2007
Boots to offer £15 ‘GP-style’ appointment to ease pressure from NHS this winter
Boots has announced it will offer £15 face-to-face appointments this winter to help ease the burden on the NHS.
The high-street pharmacy is offering appointments with pharmacists for minor ailments.
Pharmacists are being trained to diagnose diseases and write prescriptions amid a decline in in-person GP appointments offered on the NHS.
Boots Chief Executive Seb James Sun: ‘Instead of waiting two weeks to see a doctor, people can get immediate diagnosis, treatment and medication at the expense of Nando.’
Appointments will start at £15, which includes the cost of the prescription.
Mr James said Boris Johnson called him early in the pandemic to see if Boots would help the NHS with testing.
He said: ‘I assured them that we would not like to profit from Covid.
‘This policy enabled us to move fast and help the nation. Hopefully, this new venture will continue that trend.
Mr Javid is under pressure to reduce waiting times from No10 after plans last month to spend £36bn on health and social care.
He wants the key roles of the NHS to go to business leaders and other outsiders who have proven track records to help deliver results.
A senior Whitehall insider told The Times: ‘Patients need solid results and reduced waiting times.
‘NS [Department of Health] There can be no cheers for the NHS only.
‘It needs to be kept strictly according to the money given to it.’
Mr Javid is understood to be frustrated with the extent of the minister’s powers to focus on NHS leadership, with hospitals enjoying local autonomy.
Waiting lists spiraled after Covid forced hospitals to cancel routine operations and assign wards to patients suffering from the disease.
Social distancing and extra precautions made it difficult to clear the record waiting list.
The waiting list includes people awaiting operations such as knee, hip and joint replacements as well as cataract surgery.
Figures show a record number of patients are now turning to private health rather than waiting for help from the NHS, with a private provider seeing an 80 percent increase in the number of patients due to the pandemic.
but speaking GuardianMr Javid said he would not encourage patients to visit privately.
He said, no. It is always an option for those who can afford it, and it is up to them. But it’s definitely not something I would recommend to anyone.
‘I don’t want a situation where too many people stay’ [using the health service] … because I want them to use the NHS. The NHS can manage it.’
Shadow Health Minister Jonathan Ashworth warned last week that climbing waiting lists could result in the government privatizing the NHS more.
And Justin Ashe, chief executive of Spire Healthcare, which runs 39 private hospitals across the UK, said there was an 80 percent increase in demand for their services.
He said on BBC Radio 4’s Today program last month: ‘More and more people are choosing to pay for their care.
‘In particular, they are finding it difficult to reach hard-pressed GPs.’
Mr Ashe said the NHS should be using private hospitals to help clear its backlog, adding that ‘if companies like us are used more it would be good to bring down the waiting list’.
Patients who had to wait more than 18 weeks for routine surgery – the maximum time one should wait under the NHS’s own rules – rose to 1.7 million in July, the highest level in four months
Statistics show that as of July this year, around 293,000 people were waiting for more than a year for treatment on the NHS. This was slightly less than last month when the list had 304,803 people, but still nearly three times the same level last year.
Is Sajid Javid going to back down from GP appointments? Health secretary says people have ‘no problem’ with online check-ups if they want
Sajid Javid admitted last night that remote GP appointments are here to stay after the pandemic.
The health secretary told a fringe event at the Tory conference that if phone or online appointments were what people wanted, they had no problem with it.
And he said there was a ‘role’ for remote consultations because many…