Well, this post didn’t turn out anywhere near the way it thought it might, but in the interests of fairness I thought I’d write and publish it anyway, it may be of interest to somebody.
Hands Up, I confess, I really did think that post 2010 it would be a story about a Coalition/Tory government defunding the NHS in much the same way as they did the Police Service and other Public Sector organisations. Didn’t quite turn out that way.
With the advent of Coronavirus/Covid hitting the country early this year I imagined that it would be a sorry tale of a nation woefully understaffed and unprepared for the pandemic that swallowed us all up. You’ll have to make your own minds up about that. I do have reservations about how Boris the Rumbustious and his Cabinet have handled it, but hopefully that will be fully explored by an Inquiry at some more appropriate time in the future.
I am indebted to NHS Digital for the following data, they are the most recent ones available, only released into the wild last week, although Matt Hancock speaking last week does seem to be in possession of some more up to date, but unpublished, statistics.
An unexpected increase in Doctors and Nurses in the year 2019-2020. Quelle Surprise, who’d a thunk it?
More or less what we’d all like to see I guess, a significant increase in Doctors and Nurses. a small, but valuable, increase in Ambulance Staff and a reduction in Senior Managers and Managers, an overall decrease of about 10%
I don’t profess to know what Staffing Levels in the NHS SHOULD be in order for us to be safe and well-treated, I have to leave that to others, but at least they are on the increase following a, more or less. stagnant period. Like many others, I suspect, I have no problem with my taxes being spent on the NHS.
BUT, where do we stand in comparison with other countries? How many Doctors/Nures per 1,000 head of population (or however it’s counted)? I am grateful to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) for an answer to that question and also providing the means whereby I can share it.
DOCTORS – Surprisingly we do somewhat better than some highly developed countries, but still very much in the bottom half of the table. Although I do take into account that the latest data available appears to be about 2 years old, so we may have improved slightly.
NURSES – We fare somewhat better with our Nurses, slightly closer to the halfway line, but still slightly in the bottom half of the league.
FUNDING – We seem to do slightly better with our Funding, about 2 thirds up the Leaderboard for Spending on Healthcare as a Percentage of GDP, but in all three charts we are consistently falling behind those pesky Frenchies from over the Channel (for example).
In conclusion it would appear that I can’t blame a lack of NHS resources in the face of a Global Pandemic on David Cameron or Theresa May, damn. As I said earlier I hope that there will eventually be a formal Inquiry into the handling of this Public Health crisis by the current government, and I await the outcome with interest.