Thursday, 6 February 2014

Does the NHS waste money?

Does the NHS waste money?

Talking about the NHS always invokes opinions and as I get older, these opinions seem more magnified. I think it's because everyone has had some experience of the NHS whether it's sitting in a waiting room to see your local GP or being rushed to hospital for emergency treatment.

My Personal Experience of the NHS

I think that on the whole, my experience of the NHS has been largely positive. My GP surgery is and always has been excellent. Yes - I moan from time to time about having to wait but the staff have always been brilliant - the nurses and GPs I have encountered have been nothing but professional and caring. My experience of the local hospital has also been reasonably positive. I have given birth to two children there - neither the easiest of births in fact the first one was pretty horrendous BUT the staff were wonderful. However, if I was to need a major operation - my local hospital would not be my first choice having heard so many horror stories.

Other peoples experiences of the NHS

I decided to ask on my personal FB page as to whether people thought that the NHS wasted money. Interestingly, here are the responses....

"Hell Yes' - KC - Nurse

"Oh yes. Need less top cats and more on the ground care staff. I see the state the NHS sends patients into the community" -  KN - Senior Care Nurse in a Nursing Home

"Yes, it does, but no organisation of size can run at 100% efficiency because of the simplifying nature of large-scale systems and the difficulties of distributed management. Perhaps a better question is 'does the NHS waste more money than it could do if it were better run?', to which my response would be that I suspect that may be the case, but I don't know, and furthermore that anyone without access to the relevant data, plus the time and expertise to crunch it, can't know either" BH - Writer

"As an employee then I can say yes however it's not always how people think. It also needs noting how hard people work and how much unpaid work the minority of people at the coal face put in as they want to do the best for their patients." - SG - Speech and Language Therapist

"Yes, having worked in a hospital" - JO - SAHM and blogger

"Yes, meeting rooms, lunches, conferences..." MW - teacher

"Yes, to a certain extent they do. There are too many chiefs and not enough Indians. They need to concentrate on the number of staff they have and not the number of patients - it's all about how dependent the person is. Staffing is awful. We have closed beds as we haven't got enough trained staff. Sometimes it has been 2 nurses to look after 18 patients  - and some of the patients are seriously ill....12 hours without a proper break." - CP - Staff Nurse

So....does the NHS waste money?

So - in a nutshell, everyone I spoke to said yes!!! So what does that mean? Our view of the NHS is wrong? How can so many people who work for the NHS or use the NHS as a patient have got it so wrong? In a recent survey, over 65% of people thought that the NHS did indeed waste money. Can so many people be wrong? Or are they right I wonder?

I'd love you to comment and let me know below your thoughts - in your opinion, does the NHS waste money?

*Written in association with First 4 Lawyers*


  1. It's certainly a controversial topic, and I don't think there is a clear cut answer. My own experiences of the NHS have been mixed - from less than positive experiences on the maternity ward to the best care we could have hoped for in SCBU. I think changes need to be made in certain areas.

  2. I think one of biggest bones of contention was consultants being paid for a full time job role only to have 3 days a week set aside for training and the like (thats not my bone of contention) and then using those 3 days to be paid at a private clinic instead .. or the fact if an extra clinic is needed them invoicing the NHS for extra hours!

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    1. The years of back door privatisation of the NHS is costing money, decreasing patient care and efficiency. It will end up costing individuals more to repair the damage or when it is completely privatised people will struggle to pay insurance companies premiums that go through the roof and the government will still find excuses not to lower your tax bill. Even though they have sold off the NHS for large profits which was not theirs to sell.
      One example a small hospital is moved to a new modern building - The old building which is owned by the NHS sits unused (they can't sell it) but they own it so no rent. The new hospital is not owned by the NHS they pay a private company to rent the building and the land. This costs the taxpayer a lot more money and will not even have a property to sell when they have to move.


I'd love to hear what you think about this post!! Thank you for taking the time to comment!