NHS performing creditably against international standards but no room for complacency
26 June 2018
- Researchers from the Health Foundation, Institute for Fiscal Studies, The King’s Fund and the Nuffield Trust have published the first of five reports to mark the 70th anniversary of the NHS.
- The first report asks How Good is the NHS? and is a comparison looking at how the UK compares to 18 similar developed countries, including France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the USA.
- The report finds that the NHS underperforms compared to other similar countries in preventing deaths from killer diseases such as cancer and heart attacks.
- It found that the NHS provides unusually good financial protection to the public from the consequences of ill health.
Responding to the report, the deputy chief executive of NHS Providers, Saffron Cordery, said:
“The findings show although there is much to celebrate as the NHS nears its 70th anniversary, there is no room for complacency.
“We want to improve survival rates for heart attacks, strokes and cancer so they compare with the very best.
“Trusts and frontline staff are working hard to achieve this, and the UK is at the forefront of medical research and innovation to improve outcomes for patients.
“But, as the report acknowledges, some of the factors behind poor survival rates may reflect wider societal problems and how much we are willing to pay. We often get mid-table performance and outcomes on mid-table levels of investment. We therefore shouldn’t be surprised that we aren’t at the top of the table for things like cancer survival rates.
We often get mid-table performance and outcomes on mid-table levels of investment. We therefore shouldn’t be surprised that we aren’t at the top of the table for things like cancer survival rates.
“But despite relatively low levels of funding, with fewer doctors and nurses and vital pieces of equipment such as scanners, the NHS is performing creditably in many respects, providing a good experience for most people who need care, without the worry of extra costs, and providing a good deal for the taxpayer.
“There are huge challenges ahead as demand for treatment continues to grow, requiring new approaches to care.
“After almost a decade of austerity there is also a lot of catching up to be done, but the NHS – with its fantastic staff - stands ready to meet those challenges.”