You will not be surprised to hear that we were very interested in the release of recent statistics from the ONS (Office of National Statistics) which reveal the state of healthcare expenditure in the UK between 2007 and 2011.
The report shows that healthcare expenditure grew strongly between 1997 to 2009 after which time it slowed right down. In 2007 the total expenditure on healthcare was £54.8bn which increased to £138.9bn in 2009. This was an average growth rate of 8.1%. This is in stark contrast to the average growth rate of 1.4% between 2009 and 2011.
In 2011/12, when the healthcare expenditure growth rate had dropped right down, there were 150,859 complaints made about the NHS. 16,337 of these complaints made it to the Health Service Ombudsman due to the complainant not being happy with the response that they received to their complaint. In regards to complaint type, there was a 50% increase of complaints regarding the NHS ‘not admitting complaints in care’ and a 13% increase in complainants feeling that ‘poor explanations were given’.
You only have to spend 5 minutes browsing the news at the moment to see that, in the last few years some horrendous mistakes have been made within the health service. It is very hard to separate this from the decrease in the medical expenditure growth rate which is undoubtedly leading to professionals being overworked; mistakes are inevitable as are staff and equipment shortages. We have noticed a definite increase in cases of medical negligence; our concern is that this marked increase really does fall in line with an evermore underfunded healthcare service. Everyone is acutely aware that we have been in a recession and that the country needs to save money, but unless more money is spent on healthcare we believe these horrific cases will continue to rise in number.
Statistics courtesy of: