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Express & Star comment: Is throwing cash at NHS the answer?

By Star Comment | Opinions | Published:

The survey results published in today’s Express & Star sum up what many people think of the NHS.

What does the future hold for the NHS?

They are fiercely proud of it as an institution.

But for a very long time now there has been a nagging and growing suspicion it is not being run very effectively.

The term ‘lions led by donkeys’ is often used in military circles, but it could just as easily apply to the NHS.

Over the years, governments of various political persuasions have brought in various initiatives to attempt to improve the efficiency of the organisation.

In some cases, particularly Mid-Staffs, this led to horrific consequences for patient care and needless deaths.

The reality is so many of our public services are badly run and could undoubtedly benefit from an injection of private-sector thinking.

However, while mistakes made at your local council, or in the BBC may be irritating, mistakes made in the NHS can have far more serious and dire consequences.

The clarion call from left-leaning politicians is to throw money at the problem.

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But bitter experience has taught us this is not the answer.

The Conservatives appear to view a funding boost as the way to solve the service’s many problems.

And Theresa May has pledged an extra £20 billion a year for it by the year 2023.

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This suggests she is starting to adopt a more left-wing approach to the running of the NHS.

Some cynics, however, may accuse her of a desperate attempt at boosting the public perception of her flagging administration.

Whether this wins approval among Conservative voters remains to be seen.

It is often said the NHS is the envy of the world.

It certainly should be but it cannot carry on as a sacred cow beyond both criticism and reform.

Few would argue that in its current state – with lengthy waiting times now the norm – the NHS has failings that must be addressed.

Any extra cash that is thrown the way of the NHS must deliver value for money and an improvement in services.

Under no circumstances can it be allowed to be lost in a bureaucratic black hole.

Our NHS and its patients deserve better than that.

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