Feature NHS Performance

A view to a plan?

BMJ 2016; 355 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.i5583 (Published 20 October 2016) Cite this as: BMJ 2016;355:i5583
  1. Andy Cowper, editor, Health Policy Insight

The Care Quality Commission has warned that the NHS is on the verge of a “tipping point.” But one of the key rescue plans for providers may be undeliverable, finds Andy Cowper

For almost all the wrong reasons, NHS performance is scarcely out of national news headlines. The State of Care report just published by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) outlines a system having to deal with a record 23 million emergency department attendances and six million hospital admissions in 2015-16. 1

The CQC chief executive, David Behan, identifies falling and failing social care provision and pressures in primary care as key contributors to problems with NHS performance. “[They] are now beginning to impact both on the people who rely on these services and on the performance of secondary care. The evidence suggests we may be approaching a tipping point,” he said.

The cause is obvious. Despite a 33% rise people aged 85 and over the past decade, the proportion receiving care funded by local authorities has fallen. A National Audit Office review found that local authority income, …

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