Research Shows Healthcare ‘Risk Zones’ In England


The Law Of…NHS Funding Issues And Areas With High Avoidable Death

The Centre for Progressive Policy (CPP), a leading think tank, has used the NHS Trusts’ financial data from 2015-16, the Office for National Statistics figures for life expectancy, and population ages from 2012 and 2016, to identify areas in England where lives are at risk because of financial pressure on the NHS. 

The CPP has identified 32 ‘risk zones’ in which patients are 29% more likely to die from avoidable causes. 13 ‘crunch zones’ were also identified – an estimated 17% of the country – which constitutes places with an ageing population and insufficient social care funding. 

Kay Barnes, Medical Negligence Solicitor, explains these zones.

Are You Affected?

Across England 32 areas have been named as risk zones, this includes:

  • Chester
  • Carlisle
  • Manchester
  • Tameside
  • Wigan
  • 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
  • Gloucester
  • Middlesbrough

Without urgent intervention, it is likely that crunch zones will also become risk zones. The following are currently listed as crunch zones:

  • Broadland
  • Cheshire East
  • Stockport
  • Wiltshire
  • Cheshire West and Chester
  • South Norfolk
  • South Lakeland
  • Canterbury
  • Sefton
  • Shropshire
  • Carlisle
  • Torbay
  • Cornwall

Is There A Solution?

The CPP has identified that a 10% increase in funding for NHS Trusts in these zones (which typically involve hospitals in financial difficulty) could reduce A&E waiting times, as well as increase the number of patients referred for routine operations in a shorter time frame. This could potentially improve cancer treatment performance by 29%.

Whilst a cash injection into these trusts would be beneficial, the director of the CPP, Charlotte Alldritt, has identified that taking a new approach to health care is vital going forward. Alldritt believes that Improvement to communications between local authorities, community-led services and the NHS Trusts could make a world of difference to the crunch zones. 

By embracing new technologies and innovative methods of providing health care both in Trusts and in the community, these struggling Trusts could move out of risk and into the safe zone.  As Dr Sarah Wollaston MP, chair of the Government’s Health and Social Care Select Committee commented: “This analysis from the CPP sets out in stark details the urgent need to plan not just for the scale of future need but to address the impact of current deficits on care.”

Kay comments:

That this data is alarming is without question.  That the health of around 9 million people can be determined by postcode is simply unacceptable and mandates urgent action.  It is hoped that the recommendations of Catherine Alldritt are implemented promptly to avoid, what will otherwise almost inevitably result in the unnecessary suffering and potentially devastating injury to thousands.”

Kay Barnes is a solicitor and former nurse and midwife who specialises in Clinical Negligence claims.

Have You Been Affected By The Risk Zones?

If you have received an unacceptably low standard of health care based on where you live, which then led to an illness or injury that could have been avoided, contact a medical negligence solicitor today.

No one should have to tolerate injury resulting from poor health care. Our expert solicitors understand this, and will strive to get you the result you deserve.

Contact a member of the team today on our freephone number, or by sending us a secure E-message.

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