The Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has made the claim that rolling out seven-day services across the NHS will solve existing problems that have been labeled a “humanitarian crisis” by the British Red Cross.
GP leaders have reported that practices have been told that some hospitals are unable to accept routine referrals in the existing climate.
Considering the gravity of the situation, Hunt has been forced to respond swiftly to claims by the British Red Cross that NHS hospitals and ambulance services are in a virtual quagmire.
The Red Cross claims that in 24 hours, 14 trusts had warned of overcrowding in their A&E units.
Speaking to the BBC Hunt stated that that although there were “some very serious problems in some hospitals”, the majority were “coping slightly better this year than last year”.
Blockages within the healthcare system have been created by NHS bodies decommissioning hospital beds without first making a community provision available, according to the Health Secretary.
But the NHS England Five Year Forward View will implement service transformation with an additional £4 billion funding this year, Hunt asserted.
“In London from next March, everyone will be able to access a GP from 8am to 8pm, seven days a week. And that is what we need to do to reduce the pressure on hospitals”.
The health secretary also suggested that the number of GPs working in care homes should be expanded in order to assist with elderly patients being admitted to hospital.
Yet GPC deputy chairman Dr Richard Vautrey voiced his opinion that many areas are already facing major logistical problems.
“This leaves GPs in very difficult situations with limited or no options to refer patients in need to. The scale of the problem seems far worse than we’ve seen in recent years”.
The British Red Cross has already explicitly stated that the government should increase funding to healthcare and social services, to avert a disaster in England.
British Red Cross chief executive Mike Adamson said the NGO stated that more patients are being sent home from hospital without appropriate care and support.
“The British Red Cross is on the front line, responding to the humanitarian crisis in our hospital and ambulance services across the country. We have been called in to support the NHS and help get people home from hospital and free up much-needed beds. We call on the UK government to allocate immediate funding to stabilise the current system and set out plans towards creating a sustainable funding settlement for the future.”