News, Culture & Society

The NHS is ‘a Blockbuster healthcare system in the age of Netflix’, Sajid Javid says

The NHS is a ‘Blockbuster healthcare system in the age of Netflix’, Sajid Javid said today as he demanded rapid improvements to the service.

Addressing a Cabinet meeting this morning in the wake of Boris Johnson’s battering at the hands of Tory rebels, the Health Secretary compared the NHS to the now-defunct movie rental company in a world dominated by TV streaming services. 

Mr Javid called for ‘large scale changes’ so the public ‘can get the level of service they expect’, insisting that it is ‘no longer simply an option to stick to the status quo’. He said some ‘structures and systems’ were ‘designed for a different age’ and ordered a tech revolution. 

Despite his comments and Blockbuster analogy, which sparked confusion about exactly what he meant, no extra money is being allocated to prop up the NHS and boost its performance. The NHS already receives £136billion of taxpayer cash every year and will swallow the £30billion raised by a controversial national insurance hike of 1.25 per cent over the next three years. 

After Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s tax raid was announced, the Prime Minister argued that it was impossible to fix the health backlogs ‘without giving the NHS the money it needs’. 

Waiting lists have soared since the Covid crisis reached Britain and caused havoc on hospitals. One in nine people in England are now in the queue for routine treatment like hip and knee ops and analysts fear the toll will continue to rise for another two years, despite the cash injection. 

The health service, plagued by staffing issues, has also come under fire for its ‘gridlocked’ cancer system, worst-ever A&E performance times and record ambulance delays.

However, NHS bosses argue that it is bringing down the list of long-waiters of more than one year, is conducting more tests and checks and delivering the ‘most ambitious catch up plan in NHS history’.

Speaking to a Cabinet meeting today, the Health Secretary said the health service can no longer ‘stick to the status quo’ and needs to ‘dramatically’ improve its performance. Pictured: Mr Javid arriving at 10 Downing Street today for the weekly Cabinet meeting

Recalling this morning's meeting, the PM's official spokesman said: 'The Health and Social Care Secretary updated Cabinet on the scale of the challenge post-pandemic, saying we had the Blockbuster healthcare system in the age of Netflix'

Recalling this morning’s meeting, the PM’s official spokesman said: ‘The Health and Social Care Secretary updated Cabinet on the scale of the challenge post-pandemic, saying we had the Blockbuster healthcare system in the age of Netflix’ 

The number of people waiting for routine hospital treatment in England has soared to another record of 6.36million. NHS data shows one in nine people were in the queue for elective operations such as hip and knee replacements and cataracts surgery by March — up from 6.18m in February

The number of people waiting for routine hospital treatment in England has soared to another record of 6.36million. NHS data shows one in nine people were in the queue for elective operations such as hip and knee replacements and cataracts surgery by March — up from 6.18m in February 

Separate data on A&E performance in April shows a record 24,138 people were forced to wait 12 hours or more to be treated, three times longer than the NHS target and the worst figure on record

Separate data on A&E performance in April shows a record 24,138 people were forced to wait 12 hours or more to be treated, three times longer than the NHS target and the worst figure on record

HM Treasury data shows the NHS received £100.4billion in 2010/11 and its budget had grown steadily until 2019. In 2020, the NHS was given £129.7billion of core funding for its usual services, which was topped up with an extra £18billion to help with the pressures from the pandemic. For 2021/22 the Treasury said the health service is set to receive £136.1billion pounds of core funding, as well as £3billion to help with the Covid recovery

HM Treasury data shows the NHS received £100.4billion in 2010/11 and its budget had grown steadily until 2019. In 2020, the NHS was given £129.7billion of core funding for its usual services, which was topped up with an extra £18billion to help with the pressures from the pandemic. For 2021/22 the Treasury said the health service is set to receive £136.1billion pounds of core funding, as well as £3billion to help with the Covid recovery 

New lifeline for patients as NHS gets £340m fund for ‘innovative medicine’ to provide faster access to latest drugs 

Patients will have faster access to the world’s newest drugs on the NHS thanks to a £340million scheme being launched today.

The Innovative Medicines Fund (IMF) offers hope to people with rare illnesses and conditions for which there are currently few or no drugs, such as Alzheimer’s and Motor Neurone Disease. Doctors will be able to use the cash to purchase promising treatments as further real-world evidence is gathered on their effectiveness and value for money.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (Nice) previously had to fully appraise new medicines before they could be routinely used, often delaying their rollout for years.

But the NHS will now be able to use them while Nice considers whether they should be available long term, allowing patients to benefit straight away.

The IMF is an extension of the Cancer Drugs Fund, which has given more than 80,000 patients early access to revolutionary treatments over the past five years. 

It is hoped that widening access to include more diseases will ease pressure on the NHS and help reduce backlogs caused by the Covid pandemic. 

Recalling this morning’s meeting, the PM’s official spokesman said: ‘The Health and Social Care Secretary updated Cabinet on the scale of the challenge post-pandemic, saying we had the Blockbuster healthcare system in the age of Netflix. 

‘He said it was no longer simply an option to stick to the status quo.

‘He said large-scale changes were needed in areas such as the use of technology and data to help frontline workers deliver the high-quality service the public expects.

‘He said the Government had set the NHS a target of dramatically improving productivity to save £4.5billion a year.’

Blockbuster closed its remaining stores in the UK in December 2013, after administrators were unable to find a buyer for the chain.

It had been hit hard by intense competition from supermarkets, as well as the shift from physical rental and sales to online games, music and films.

The PM’s spokesman said Mr Johnson told his Cabinet the Government was ‘rightly investing massive sums into the NHS and social care system’ and ‘the public will want to see further improvements in the service they receive as a result’.

Downing Street said the Health Secretary, who took over from Matt Hancock last summer, was making the point that some of the ‘structures and systems’ within the healthcare system were ‘designed for a different age’.

Mr Javid is of the view that there needs to be ‘big and bold changes to the NHS and care system so the public can get the level of service they expect,’ the PM’s spokesman said.

But the spokesman said there is no new money to cover these reforms, beyond what has already been set out by Mr Sunak.

Downing Street said Boris Johnson told his Cabinet the Government was ‘rightly investing massive sums into the NHS and social care system’ and that ‘the public will want to see further improvements in the service they receive as a result’. 

Shadow Health Secretary Wes Streeting poured scorn on Mr Javid’s Blockbuster analogy, however.

Asked about his rival’s comments, the Labour frontbencher told an audience at the Institute for Government: ‘So what?

‘I think it’s slightly absurd that 12 years into a Government we have government ministers who talk in the biggest generalities without plans to deliver anything.’

He added: ‘We have have a Government that is not governing and doesn’t have answers. It just has generalities.’

It comes amid a policy blitz to win back Tories, after more than 40 per cent of Conservative MPs tried to oust Mr Johnson in last night’s vote of confidence.

Ambulance figures for April show waits for paramedics fell compared to March but were higher than nearly all other months since records began. Ambulances took an average of 51 minutes and 22 seconds to respond to category two calls, such as burns, epilepsy and strokes. This is nine minutes and 41 seconds quicker than one month earlier

Ambulance figures for April show waits for paramedics fell compared to March but were higher than nearly all other months since records began. Ambulances took an average of 51 minutes and 22 seconds to respond to category two calls, such as burns, epilepsy and strokes. This is nine minutes and 41 seconds quicker than one month earlier

England’s Covid backlog in cancer care is set to last another five years without urgent action, a leading cancer charity warned today. Graph shows: The number of patients fewer than expected to receive first cancer treatment since the start of the pandemic (red line) and how long it will take to reduce to zero if treatments continue at the current pace (dotted red line), increase 5 per cent on pre-pandemic levels (dotted green line) or increase 10 per cent on pre-pandemic levels (dotted blue line)

NHS England aims to treat 85 per cent of cancer patients who receive an urgent referral from their GP within two months, but in November 2021, the latest available, only 67.5 per cent of patients received treatment in this time frame. While the problem predates the Covid pandemic, the disruption to services caused by the virus has exacerbated the problem

NHS England aims to treat 85 per cent of cancer patients who receive an urgent referral from their GP within two months, but in November 2021, the latest available, only 67.5 per cent of patients received treatment in this time frame. While the problem predates the Covid pandemic, the disruption to services caused by the virus has exacerbated the problem

Around the famous table in Downing Street, the PM thanked his cabinet for their ‘hard work’ in trying to save him from outright defeat yesterday. 

But he demanded they come up with way of ‘cutting costs’ in Government and getting better value out of services.

The first in a series of health announcements came just yesterday, when Mr Javid revealed patients will have faster access to the world’s newest drugs on the NHS thanks to a £340million scheme.

The Innovative Medicines Fund (IMF) offers hope to people with rare illnesses and conditions for which there are currently few or no drugs, such as Alzheimer’s and Motor Neurone Disease. 

Doctors will be able to use the cash to purchase promising treatments as further real-world evidence is gathered on their effectiveness and value for money.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (Nice) previously had to fully appraise new medicines before they could be routinely used, often delaying their rollout for years. 

Mr Javid’s comments come after the NHS waiting list hit 6.4million in March. The figure is the highest logged since records began in 2007 and is expected to keep rising until March 2024. 

There were 306,000 patients waiting for more than a year for their operation, up 2 per cent on one month earlier, and 16,796 were seeking treatment for more than two years, down slightly.

Mr Javid has promised to cut one-year-plus waits to zero by 2025, using the 1.25 per cent National Insurance hike that came into effect last month.

Separate data on A&E performance in April shows a record 24,138 people were forced to wait 12 hours or more to be treated, three times longer than the NHS target and the worst figure on record.  

Just seven in 10 patients were seen within four hours of arriving at ‘absolutely packed’ emergency departments, a slight recovery from last month, making it the second-lowest rate ever recorded. Medics warned access to urgent care has become a ‘serious issue’.

Ambulance figures for April show 999 waits fell compared to March but were higher than nearly all other months since records began. Experts said the ‘small reductions’ in waiting times mean patients still face ‘frightening waits’.

***
Read more at DailyMail.co.uk