Rehana Azam, GMB National Officer for NHS said, “The electorate will heed this assessment that the NHS performance is deteriorating and the service is in the red as election approaches. The Kings Fund highlights the serious consequences of Tory and Lib Dem mismanagement of the NHS. It makes crystal clear that the government’s chaotic reorganisation has added to the pressures the NHS is now facing. David Cameron’s Health and Social Care Act was a purely ideological vehicle for marketising the NHS. The health service will not recover until this pernicious piece of legislation is scrapped. Only this government could be unaware of the growing NHS crisis. The Kings Fund plainly states that many hospitals are operating at the limits of their capacity. It points to targets missed for waits for A&E, cancer treatment and admission to hospital, to more and more NHS trusts falling into the red, and a host of other indicators of a system under strain.
Another part of the problem is under-funding. The Kings Fund makes the important point that workforce numbers have failed to keep pace with population growth and other demographic changes, most notably the rising elderly population. It warns the service is facing an accelerating decline. These pressures are having a damaging effect on staff morale and between 2010 and 2014 the number of NHS workers off work ill with work-related stress has jumped.
The NHS is now in a critical condition. This is going to be a massive issue at the general election. People will be voting to protect the NHS. David Cameron and Nick Clegg had no mandate to tear up the NHS and voters won’t trust them with it again.”