Manchester, Tameside and Wigan have been named in a report out this week as two of thirty two local authority areas where there are higher rates of preventable deaths due to poor outcomes and where hospitals are in financial trouble.
The Report by the Centre for Progessive Policy found the risk of death from an avoidable or preventable cause, at any age, is 29 per cent higher in the risk zones than in other local authority areas.
Their data also identifies 13 ‘crunch zones’ which may not be prepared for aging populations and where social care is currently underfunded.
This, say the authors,is compounding pressure on the NHS and making trusts more likely to run deficits. Without urgent intervention these areas have the potential to become risk zones.
Dr Sarah Wollaston MP, chair of the Health and Social Care Select Committee, said:
“This analysis from the CPP sets out in stark detail the urgent need to plan not just for the scale of future need but to address the impact of current deficits on care.”
Besides the three Greater Manchester Authorities, The Report names Middlesbrough, Cheshire West and Chester, Carlisle,, Knowsley, Liverpool, Sefton, Hull, Barnsley, Bradford, Kirklees, Leicester, Nottingham, Lincoln, Stoke-on-Trent, Birmingham, Worcester, Southend-on-Sea, Stevenage, Ipswich, Islington, Lambeth, Southwark, Medway, Reading, Dartford, Bournemouth, Cornwall, Torbay and Gloucester.
The paper presents other new analysis, including the statistics that should a typical NHS trust increase its funding by 10%, it would improve its Average A&E performance (i.e. seeing A&E attendees within four hours), from 94.4% to 95.8%, just over the 95% national standard.
That Elective care waiting times, from 83.1% of all patients referred within 18 weeks to 88.4%, closing the gap by 59%, but still short of the 92% national standard and that cancer treatment performance would improve by 29%, thus increasing the amount of patients seen within the national guideline times from 88% to 91%, above the 85% national standard.
Welcoming the report, Sir Cyril Chantler, Emeritus Chairman UCLPartners Academic Health Science Partnership, said:
“This new analysis has shown an alarming trend between hospital pressure and financial deficits and below average health outcomes resulting in the 32 risk zones. We must act now to protect those residing in the risk zones and prevent any more from occurring. I look forward to continuing to work with CPP on their research and anticipate their suggestions in how we can truly make the health service both high quality and sustainable.”
Charlotte Alldritt, Director of the Centre for Progressive Policy, who emphasises the importance of a long-term strategy and funding settlement for health and social care, said:
“The government is under increasing pressure to respond to a health and social care funding crisis. But the chronic challenges facing the NHS demand more than a short-term cash injection or another five – or even ten – year strategy. A new approach to health and care is needed that can cope with our ageing population, improve joint working between local government, community services and the NHS and take up the opportunities of technology for diagnostics and delivery, and embed health outcomes within a wider, place-based economic and social policy interventions. This could imply a radical shift in our expectations of the state – and ourselves as patients and citizens – with huge implications for how we fund and deliver these essential public services.”