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Financial pressures to harm improvement of healthcare

Following the Stafford Hospital scandal, experts believe that financial pressures could get in the way of the drive to improve care.

Last week it was announced that almost one in three NHS trusts is predicting a deficit this year.
A recent review by the Nuffield Trust which has been published a year on from the Stafford public enquiry has reported that money worries could hamper efforts.

Inquiry chair Robert Francis QC criticised what he saw as the ‘oppressive reactions’ of the system to hospitals that ran into trouble with budgets and hitting targets.
"It is unacceptable to pretend that all can be provided to an acceptable standard when that is not true," he comments.

The report was based on in-depth interviews with 50 staff at five hospitals and online feedback from chairs and chief executives of 53.

Many claimed they were taking action to improve care, but their concern was that the state of finances was going to harm their ability to succeed.

"Things are moving in the right direction,” says Julie Bailey, founder of Cure the NHS, who claims she was disappointed the government hadn’t agreed to a full regulation of healthcare assistants that the Francis Inquiry had recommended.

“I believe people working in the NHS have a real appetite for change."