There is no question that the NHS is financially stressed and recent budget cuts are adding extra pressure and stress on clinics and surgeries that are already overburdened with too many patients and not enough trained medical professionals. In an effort to improve healthcare in the UK, there are several key areas which need careful consideration in an effort to prevent further deterioration within the system.
Surgeries in Need of Doctors and Nurses
Most surgeries in clinics are understaffed. This is a sad reality and a result of cuts in funding which are set to be even further cut in the near future. With too few doctors and nurses to handle an increasing caseload of patients, many surgeries are looking to hire locum GPs who can stand in temporarily to fill a void until the NHS budget is revived. If you are a doctor that is without a permanent surgery or clinic, you can seek work as a locum GP.
Healthcare Apps to Relieve Overburdened Surgeries
Since there is a shortage of doctors, many clinics and surgeries are seeking innovative new healthcare apps which can help GPs remotely monitor patients. From heart patients to diabetics, symptoms can be monitored with mobile apps so that doctors can order treatment without bringing patients into overcrowded and overburdened clinics. There is a need for greater and more proprietary healthcare apps and one day, it is conjectured, that a high percentage of patients may not even need to be seen regularly because of advances in technology.
More Continuing Healthcare Facilities
Patients are being asked to leave overcrowded hospitals because of budget cuts as well. Those who would have stayed 2 to 5 days longer are now being asked to convalesce at home. There are too few continuing healthcare facilities to take on patients who have a need for specialised care and too few caregivers to visit homes to aid families unable to adequately care for patients needing extra care and rehabilitation.
Additional Funding is Essential
The state of the economy is said to be improving yet cuts are continuing to be made in the NHS. If healthcare is to survive in the UK, additional funding must come from somewhere. It isn’t clear where the government can find these funds, but the fact is, more money is needed with a rise in patients needing greater care. Baby boomers are reaching an age where they will need an increasing number of healthcare services and this, too, is adding to the financial burdens facing the NHS.
Temporary doctors (locums) can relieve some of the burden but this is only a quick fix. Funding must be found to employ full-time permanent GPs if the increasing number of patients are to be cared for. By looking closely at each of the areas that need improvement, it all boils down to money. With insufficient funding there is no way to resolve these issues. In the meantime, the burden rests on government to find ways to fund a floundering healthcare system.