Britain’s Aging Population shrinks the Tax Base and forces Nurses to Care for up to 15 Patients

Posted by PITHOCRATES - August 5th, 2012

Week in Review

The National Health Service (NHS) of Britain is one of the best national health care system in the world.  But even it can’t withstand the effects of an aging population (see Nurses look after 15 patients at a time by Laura Donnelly posted 8/5/2012 on The Telegraph).

The findings show a sharp rise in their workload to levels which patients’ groups said compromised safety and left little time for compassion.

It follows growing public concern that hospital patients, especially the elderly, are being denied basic dignity and left thirsty and hungry.

A public inquiry into the Stafford Hospital scandal – where hundreds died amid “appalling” failings in care – is preparing to recommend changes to improve the quality of nursing…

The NHS has never set rules on nurse number, but in parts of the US and Australia, mandatory levels have been imposed – typically at around six patients per nurse…

Among the findings of the research were:

* On average, nurses were allocated 11 patients at night and eight by day;

* At some trusts, nurses were asked to care for 15 patients at night..;

The statistics disclose a sharp increase in nurses’ workloads. Five years ago, they were allocated an average of seven patients on day shifts and nine at night, previous research shows…

Although the health service has been given increases in its budget, just above inflation, it has been told to make £20 billion of efficiency savings by 2015 so services can meet the needs of an ageing population.

The Coalition had pledged to protect frontline jobs from any cuts. Last month, after official figures showed the number of nurses has fallen by 4,500 in two years, Andrew Lansley, the Health Secretary, conceded that the number of posts has fallen. He said decisions were taken by trust boards, not the Government…

The research, led by the National Nursing Research Unit at Kings College London, found that older patients received the least care and attention. More than three-quarters [76 %] of nurses polled by researchers said there were not enough staff to get the work done.

Anne Milton, health minister, said the NHS had 10,000 more nurses than it did five years ago, and that the review of nursing had been asked to find ways to free up staff so they could spend as much time as possible with patients.

This is what you get with an aging population.  And a falling tax base that aging population gives you. More patients.  Fewer nurses.  Rationing of services.  And poorer quality.  Or, in other words, welcome to Obamacare.

The NHS is one of the finest national health care systems in the world.  It’s not the fault of the people in the NHS.  It’s the fault of those who set up the NHS.  Who assumed a growing population growth rate would continue to grow.  But that was before the Sixties.  When the world changed.  Women were no longer getting married, staying home and raising a large family.  Birth control and abortion changed that.  And a more libertine sexual attitude.   The women of the Sixties and the Seventies slammed the brakes on baby making.  Decimating the ranks of future taxpayers.  Turning a young population into an aging population.  Where more people left the workforce than entered it.  Who went on to overwhelm the health care system just as funding for it began to fall.  Which brings us to today.  Where they ask nurses to care for up to 15 patients.

The UK is no different than the US.  Except having only one fifth the population.  An aging population will do to Obamacare what it’s doing to the NHS.  Even making it worse.  As American nurses currently can care for no more than 6 patients.  Pretty much what it was in the NHS only 5 years ago.  So in 5 years there will be reports like this about Obamacare.  Which will quickly suffer the problems it took the NHS decades to suffer.  As the Americans will be starting with an aging population that will only age more in the next 2-3 decades.

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