The pandemic has pushed the NHS to its limits. With intensive care units filled with Covid patients, precious time and resources have been used to combat the pandemic. But this has resulted in issues all across the NHS.
Here’s how the pandemic has impacted the NHS:
One of the main results of the pandemic is that many people are waiting to receive medical care. With an influx of Covid patients, there is now a backlog in treatment. As of May 2021, 5.3 million people were waiting to start treatment on the NHS, while 336,000 of these had been waiting for over a year. This backlog is set to take years to clear and has the potential to push the NHS to breaking point unless there is significant government investment.
Amidst the pandemic, there are growing concerns about the impact it has had on the healthcare needs of those managing long-term conditions. In fact, research has shown that access to health services for people with pre-existing conditions was 20% lower during the Covid peak period. The danger here is that lower quality care will result in these conditions being exacerbated or not being treated in time.
Cancellations, delays, and disruptions
With time and resources getting devoted to Covid, many more delays disruptions and cancellations have occurred with appointments and surgery. With doctors being put under more and more pressure, appointments might be rushed resulting in misdiagnosis or failure to adequately treat issues. If you’ve been a victim of GP negligence following a rushed appointment, you could be entitled to compensation by putting forward a GP negligence claim.
Quality of care
Quality of care has been diminished by the pandemic too. Again, the focus has been on treating those with Covid. This means that most NHS workers have been diverted towards this aim. As a result, there are fewer staff available to treat those with other illnesses. The situation has deteriorated to the point where many nurses are returning having previously retired.
There are two main concerns for the future. Firstly, with a significant number of nurses coming out of retirement to help during the pandemic, there are fears about the number of available staff once they retire again. Plus, with waiting times rising there are public worries about how effective NHS healthcare will be in the future. Both concerns will need to be addressed urgently by the government in the coming years.
The NHS has been put under immense pressure by the pandemic. And despite the dedicated work of its staff, the NHS is set for an uncertain future.
Robert Haynes did his degree in psychology at the University of Hertfordshire. He is interested in mental health, wellness, and lifestyle.