According to the letter sent to The Times by health sector figureheads, including two non-executive directors of NHS England and the heads of the Royal College of Nursing and Royal College of Physicians, in 50 years time at least two-and-a half as many people are expected have health problems requiring treatment.
The nine signatories have said “the status quo is not an option. We are already seeing the signs of the system creaking at the seams”, as a result of the ageing population, and are calling for a national debate about how the NHS is funded, suggesting higher taxes or charging patients for select treatments.
Staff are already overstretched and are struggling to meet the rising healthcare demands – our research into patient satisfaction found that over 55% of patients in England have had cause to make a complaint, either on behalf of themselves or a family member, about an aspect of the service they have received from the NHS.
With demands on the health service due to increase with the ageing population, it is vital that the investment in the NHS budget reflects and matches this, to prevent standards sliding and mistakes being made as resources and staff face increasing pressure.