• Question: Do you think the NHS needs more funding or that certain aspects on the NHS need more money?

    Asked by JWattam to Adrian, Ali, Charnelle, Deborah, Kit, Phil, Rob on 10 Nov 2017.
    • Photo: Philip Williams

      Philip Williams answered on 10 Nov 2017:

      Absolutely. I think there’s too much power in certain areas – such as cancer. Cancer is a hugely emotional subject for so many of us who have been affected by it in some way. However, because it is so emotionally charged, the government spends millions of pounds on very expensive tests and treatment which may only make a small difference to the quality of life of a few patients. Investing that money in social care, general practice or mental health would potentially help many more people. The government is only now admitting that general practice and mental health have been starved of resources for a very long time (does anyone find it easy to get a GP appointment these days?), and that the country and the NHS depends on those areas to flourish. However, money is still very slow to move away from the highly specialised hospital units towards the more general specialties.

    • Photo: Robert Cullum

      Robert Cullum answered on 10 Nov 2017:

      Absolutely! Unfortunately one downside to the constant developments in medical sciences is that everything costs money – we can do more than ever but at a cost! This combined with an aging population means we can’t afford to do everything.

      On the front line it’s clear that money shortages are starting to have an impact with hospitals being under ever-increasing pressures and staff shortages don’t help this.

      However I’m not sure what the answer is – I think the model of primary and secondary care that was designed when the NHS was first created is no longer the most efficient way to deliver care and longterm this will need thinking about – however no politician is ever going to do this until something breaks!

    • Photo: Deborah Draycott

      Deborah Draycott answered on 10 Nov 2017:

      Definitely. Many areas of the NHS are poorly funded, mental health being one that comes to mind immediately. Whilst our population is living longer we are having to deal with a lot more illness, people are also surviving with disease which they would not have done before, e.g. some cancers. Unfortunately healthcare is what is known as a bottomless pit – we could increase spending continuously and never have enough money.
      I think there should be more focus on preventing illness rather than dealing with disease once it happens, lots of illness can be avoidable. The way the health service currently works can also be very inefficient as well with lots of wasted resources, so we do need to learn to work smarter as well.

    • Photo: Adrian Taylor

      Adrian Taylor answered on 13 Nov 2017:

      Given the aging population and the fact that people don’t seem capable of looking after themselves any more the NHS is becoming a bottomless pit, no matter how much you pour in there will never be enough. Also the headline grabbing cases when people on really expensive treatments get denied them as the same funding will help lots more people in other areas doesn’t help. But the NHS is also very good at wasting money, staff arriving late means operating lists have to be cut or rearranged, prescribing named drugs when generics will do just as well. Also patients waste loads of money by not turning up for appointments or failing to complete course of drugs, which leads to other problems like drug resistance. And then theirs those that insist on appointments when they have a cold.
      We do need better education about looking after your self and this should be done in schools, as we seem to have lost the family knowledge that was passed on when I was young.