If you have a collapsed patient, what is the first thing you do? ABCDE. You make the patient stable, logically solving each problem. Yet this is just the start; there is still a long road to recovery and returning the patient to full health.
The NHS is no different. A, B and C are all being achieved with the economy now beating strongly and supporting every organ. A change in approach risks compromising the very ‘cardiac’ output keeping the economy alive.
The NHS is vital and its budget needs to be protected at times of stress. Under this Government the budget has been ring-fenced, and under a future Conservative government will be ring-fenced again. The recent strain on the system has seen an additional £2bn provided for the frontline from April, and just a few weeks ago, £1.25bn extra was allocated to improve community and mental health services.
The Conservatives know these solutions are short-term; it’s the long-term health of our NHS that needs careful consideration.
So what is the prognosis for our recovering patient? You will hear from Labour that the challenges faced in health are the fault of the current Government. Yet it is clear to all clinicians that a bigger problem is afoot. An increasing number of frail elderly patients, rising rates of obesity and greater demand is placing massive strain upon a dedicated workforce.
Then consider that the English NHS is run by a coalition, the Welsh NHS by Labour and the Scottish by the SNP and all are missing targets. There is an evolving struggle facing us all.
It is because we understand the complexities of the case that we are best placed to keep driving the NHS forward. We understand the answers will come from working with clinicians. We understand that the public needs to take a more responsible role. We understand that poorly placed targets create a negative culture.
That’s why responsibility for commissioning was given to doctors. After all, who is better placed to make decisions about health and health provision then the clinicians themselves?
That’s why primary care is at the heart of the Five-Year Forward View, prioritising preventative medicine. Encouraging the public to take responsibility for their own health and well-being. An extra £1bn to improve GP premises across the country will help GPs to improve care for their patients. That’s why 40% of QOF targets were cut and put into global sum and the 48-hour target was scrapped.
ABCDE. A strong economy supports a strong NHS. Voting Conservative gives GPs the opportunity to shape their vision of our health service built and backed by steadfast economic stewardship. Your vote guarantees that the NHS will thrive, not only now, but in years to come.
Dr Luke Evans is the Conservative candidate for Birmingham Edgbaston and is a locum GP in the city
Please note that due to an editing error, the first version of this article cited the ABC check, not as Dr Evans originally wrote the ABCDE check.