Statement from National Health Action Party co-leader, Dr Clive Peedell on Addenbrookes's Hospital being placed in special measures:
"The sudden and dramatic demise of Addenbrooke's Hospital is tragic and couldn't be a starker warning of the impact of this government's reckless policies on the NHS. The Tories are a danger to the security of our NHS and the public's health.
The problems at Addenbrookes are symptomatic of a financial crisis right across the NHS with two thirds of trusts predicting a deficit this year. This is a result of chronic underfunding of the NHS following a £20 billion efficiency savings programme over the last five years. Whilst healthcare inflation runs at 4% per year, the NHS budget under Tories increased just 0.8% per year during the last Parliament, the lowest average annual increase of any parliament. With the government intent on another £22 billion of savings over the next five years, the situation for patients can only get worse under the Tories and will be further exacerbated by the growing rift Jeremy Hunt has created with NHS staff over the introduction of a full 24/7 NHS and the imposition of a damaging junior doctor contract.
A perfect storm has hit Addenbrookes as financial pressures and rising clinical demand have resulted in staff cuts, shortages, increased agency costs and reductions in service delivery. Moreover, cuts to local authority budgets have fuelled the problem of “exit block" with patients unable to be discharged because of a lack of social care packages. This is why even elite hospitals like Addenbrooke's are now labelled as “failing”- although the actual quality of care and staff is not. They simply cannot cope with the volume of demand on the service because of chronic underinvestment. This is compounded by the disastrous purchaser-provider split market system, where the tariff that hospitals can charge for their services has been cut in order to achieve the Government's efficiency savings.
Unless George Osborne in his Spending Review brings forward a large proportion of the promised £8bn for the NHS, the crisis in our hospitals is set to deepen and the future of our NHS will be bleaker than ever."