Bankrupt: a council in crisis and the impact on health and social careBMJ 2019; 364 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.l172 (Published 05 February 2019) Cite this as: BMJ 2019;364:l172
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The UK government has to allocate a significant amount of budget towards the NHS. Around £120 billion was spent on healthcare in 2017/2018 and is expected to rise to over £127 billion in 2019/2020. Hence, careful rationing of certain services and platforms has to be done. Recently, Northamptonshire planned to save £700 000 by reducing long-term care placements from hospitals and £1.8m from ‘new ways of delivering care and independence.’ A huge risk could be that vulnerable groups will receive even lesser support than they already get.
The article explored various reasons that led to this situation such as misallocation of funds, shortages of care, inability of social and health care to work together.
However, I feel that redistribution of funds from other aspects of the country would be sufficient to keep the councils running. In 2017/2018, £110bn was spent on NHS and £21bn was allocated to councils (Triggle, 2019). A reallocation of these funds could be done to redistribute more funding to the councils which could help save Northamptonshire. Another project that was met with much controversy was the Trident nuclear renewal project. This project was projected to cost £51bn or even more (Polianskaya, 2019). Even a fraction of this amount would be enough to fund the councils for a longer period of time. Another failed project was the Garden Bridge in London which was projected to cost £53m (BBC News, 2019). Once again, I believe that allocating budget to such projects should not be at the expense of healthcare.
Having good healthcare is of paramount importance. Citizens are the backbone of every society. Only when citizens are healthy, they are able to contribute to society which will result in better growth of the society and country. By removing councils in places such as Northamptonshire, vulnerable groups of people will be neglected and hence, we would be unable to tap into the manpower of that particular group of people if they are unhealthy. Therefore, I feel that redistribution of funds and prioritising healthcare over projects such as those mentioned above would help keep these councils going and hence, lead to better healthcare for the society.
Triggle, N. (2019). 10 charts that show why the NHS is in trouble. [online] BBC News. Available at: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-42572110 [Accessed 26 Feb. 2019].
Polianskaya, A. (2019). Ministry of Defence faces £2.9bn shortage in Trident nuclear renewal programme, NAO warns. [online] The Independent. Available at: https://www.independent.co.uk/news/trident-renewal-uk-nuclear-programme-... [Accessed 27 Feb. 2019].
BBC News. (2019). Failed Garden Bridge project cost £53m. [online] Available at: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-47228698 [Accessed 27 Feb. 2019].
Competing interests: No competing interests