Reorganising the National Health Service in England has failed to increase the amount of care taking place in the community.
The health service changed radically in England in 2013, when two-thirds of the NHS budget was transferred to family doctors. The hope was that more people could be treated relatively cheaply locally, rather going for assessment or treatment at hospitals.
But a study has found that the rate of people going into hospital between 2013 and 2015 has remained static. By the end of 2015, the number of referrals to specialists had increased by 19 per cent. Rates of hospitalisation and referrals were unaltered in Scotland, where no reforms took place.
“It’s hard to say whether the policy as a whole is a failure,” says James Lopez Bernal of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. “But we know that the idea was to shift more care into the community, and our findings suggest that’s not been happening.”
Journal reference: PLOS Medicine, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pmed.1002427
This article appears in print under the headline “NHS plan backfires”
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Published at Tue, 14 Nov 2017 19:00:00 +0000