According to a report, the NHS is facing a “triple mess” of residue issues due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Addressing local coronavirus outbreaks and a second surge in cases, the health service is trying to address a “large backlog” of people in need of care with “exhausted” staff and reduced capacity due to infection control measures, according to the NHS Confederation.
The organization’s most recent report, titled NHS Reset, outlines the challenges the healthcare sector is facing and how the system should evolve after the pandemic.
They say there needs to be a “reassessment” of what can realistically be expected from the NHS and that “the road to recovery will be long”.
“The NHS came under significant pressure in the pandemic, and the demand for care exceeded the service’s ability to meet key performance goals,” the authors wrote.
“The service is now facing a threefold blow.
“It has to deal with local outbreaks and a second surge.
“It has to deal with a huge backlog of treatment that has built up during the pandemic. And it has to do so and restore services at reduced capacity as a result of infection control measures.
“In addition, those responsible report that some employees who have been in the middle of this battle are exhausted. It is unlikely that there will be much rest before winter.”
The report includes a survey of 252 NHS executives that found the majority to be concerned about business resumption targets.
Nearly three-quarters (74%) said they were not confident that their services could meet the goals of bringing routine operations back to “near normal” levels by the end of October.
The authors warn that while the NHS has made tremendous strides in restoring services towards prepandemic, the impact of Covid-19 is likely to have an impact on NHS capacity for “several years”.
The NHS Confederation said the disruption caused by the pandemic should lead to a health care transformation.
Changes that previously took years were delivered in weeks, he added.
Healthcare has developed solutions for treating patients and the report calls for innovation to be sustained by cutting “unnecessary red tape” in the NHS.
The service is said to need government investment to support new ways of restoring services.
Additional funding will also be needed to meet the added cost of increasing demand and allow the NHS to catch up on the treatment backlog.
Only 8% of NHS leaders surveyed said their current funding enables them to provide safe and effective services.
The report also calls for public understanding as the NHS deals with the “big backlog” of dependent patients.
Action also needs to be taken to address health inequalities “exacerbated” by the pandemic, the report said.
The integration of health and care is “crucial”, add the authors.
Danny Mortimer, Chairman of the NHS Confederation Board of Directors, said: “No one can doubt that the road to recovery for the NHS and social services will be long.
“Despite terrible predictions that it would not be able to deal with it, the NHS has not only handled a large wave of Covid-19 patients but has continued to treat millions who are not infected with the virus.
“We have learned a lot and are able to manage the virus better than the first time, although we still do not have an effective test and trace system.
“The strain will continue to be felt across the country, but we must take this opportunity to re-design services for the long-term benefit of patients and local communities.”
Lord Victor Adebowale, Chairman of the NHS Confederation, said: “Covid-19 has been the biggest disruptor in NHS history. Out of necessity, it has transformed patient services in ways previously unimagined and changes that typically took years would take were made. ” Weeks.
“This is the moment for the government to seize the nettle, be courageous and invest in a health and care system not only for this winter but also for the long term.
“It needs to be redesigned so that local leaders can deliver services that work for everyone in their communities.
“Most importantly, we must see a radical and deliberate shift in every part of the country towards eliminating health inequalities. If there is one lesson from the pandemic, it is that our universal health service does not cater to everyone equally.”
The survey of NHS leaders found that 84% believe that the NHS needs to gradually change the way it serves diverse and marginalized communities.