MP for North Swindon

Justin Tomlinson MP

Justin Welcomes News NHS Ranked Best Healthcare System In The World By Leading Independent Think Tank


North Swindon MP Justin Tomlinson has welcomed the news that the NHS has been ranked the best healthcare system of 11 wealthy countries by the independent think tank The Commonwealth Fund.

The NHS came top in 5 of the 11 areas assessed, including access and safety of care and placed highly in every other category.

Not only does the NHS rank the highest in measures related to the equity of health systems with respect to access and care process, but it also ranks first based on the performance across prevention, safe care, coordination, and patient engagement.  This is a clear reflection of the dedication of NHS staff who, despite increasing pressures, are delivering safer, more compassionate care than ever. ‎

This is the second time in a row that the NHS has been independently judged the best healthcare system in the world – both times coming under a Conservative government.

Contrary to the scaremongering offered by the Labour Party, who have cut funding to the NHS in Wales by 8% and seen waiting times for cancer treatment rocket, the Conservative Party is committed to ensuring our experienced & dedicated clinicians have the resources they need, while ensuring that our health service is universal and free at the point of use.

That’s why: 

  • We have protected and increased health funding – so people get the care they need. We are giving the NHS an extra £10 billion and have given an additional £2 billion for social care. This means in the spending period to 2020, more than half a trillion pounds will have been invested in the NHS.
  • We are investing more in mental health than ever before – transforming mental health services. We are spending a record £11.7 billion a year on mental health and have given mental and physical health equal priority in law so people deserving of compassion and support the attention and treatment they deserve.
  • There are more doctors and nurses looking after patients. There are 11,600 more doctors and over 13,000 more nurses on our hospital wards than in 2010, and more mental health professionals treating patients. 
  • We have improved patient care – so people are treated with the dignity they deserve. An independent NHS report says ‘outcomes of care for most major conditions are dramatically better than three or five or ten years ago’. We have introduced the first-ever waiting time standards for mental health, cancer survival is at a record high, and dementia diagnosis rate is up from a half to more than two thirds.
  • We have nearly eradicated mixed sex wards – so we are respecting patients’ dignity. The number of patients facing the indignity of mixed-sex wards has fallen from 11,802 in December 2010 – when we started measuring this – to 776 in the latest statistics in May 2017.
  • Hospital infections have been virtually halved since 2010 – helping to reduce human pain and suffering. The level of MRSA has virtually halved, and C. difficile cases are down by more than 50%.

In addition, in spite of the pressures faced, huge progress has been made in our NHS:

  • In cancer, survival rates are now at a record high. We have overtaken France on cervical cancer survival rates and Germany for colorectal cancer survival rates. 100,000 people have been helped by the Cancer Drugs Fund, 130 more people are starting treatment for cancer every day than under Labour and 7,000 more people are alive today after successful treatment than would’ve been 3 years ago if survival rates had not improved.
  • Outpatient appointments are up by 25,000 every day, with 5,000 additional operations daily, and patients say they have never been treated with more dignity and respect.
  • Heart attack and stroke deaths have fallen by one of the fastest rates in the OECD, with the number of heart attacks treated within 90 minutes nearly doubling over 10 years and ischaemic stroke survival rates now better than France. 
  • The independent inspectorate has unleashed transparency over variation in standards and 19 of the 31 hospitals put into special measures post Mid Staffs have since come out, with 7 of those trusts achieving a CQC “Good” rating.
  • Frontline NHS staff say their experience at work continues to improve, despite the pressures, with this year’s independeent annual staff survey scores at a five year high, while more of the public say they get good healthcare in the UK than in France or Germany. Patient satisfaction scores are higher than all but 3 of the last 30 years

However we know there is more to do; listening to, and working with, patients & clinicians to ensure our NHS remains the best healthcare system in the world. Our priorities include:

  • Improving A&E performance – by an additional £2 billion of funding for social care and £100 million for improving treatment in emergency departments, the NHS will enhance NHS111, and increase clinical advice to care homes to deliver
  • Better access to GPs – by delivering 5,000 more doctors working in general practice, better use of technology, enabling practices to work together, and closer working by GPs with other staff like community nurses, mental health therapists and pharmacists.
  • A new cancer standard – we will improve survival so that 5,000 more people a year survive cancer, through steps like widening screening for bowel and cervical cancer, a new standard to give patients a definitive diagnosis within 28 days, and the largest radiotherapy upgrade programme in 15 years to ensure modern radiotherapy treatment right across the country.
  • Delivering parity for mental health – including by ensuring 200,000 more people will get help for common mental health conditions, faster access to new digital therapies, 20 new specialist perinatal mental health teams, 150-180 new CAMHS Tier 4 specialist inpatient beds to reduce travel distances, 81 24-hr mental health teams in A&E, and additional capacity to care for children and young people in the community.
  • Improving Safety – our continued drive to secure world-class standards will include new models of maternity care to help halve rates of death and injury, new measures to prevent healthcare acquired infections by a further 50%, a new Healthcare Safety Investigation Branch to transform investigations and learning from mistakes, a campaign to reduce medication errors and new arrangements to ensure trusts learn from deaths.
  • Increasing training opportunities – to ensure the NHS has the staff it needs we’ll grow medical school places by 25%, offer new on-the-job routes into nursing, grow new roles such as nursing associates and physician associates, expand mental health staffing and take action to support the health and wellbeing of NHS staff across the system.

We also want to deliver a bold & ambitious programme that can be accessed at any time of the week:

  • We want to make sure patients can get the right care at the right time from excellent, well-resourced GPs as part of our commitment to a seven-day NHS. By 2020, everyone will be able to access routine GP appointments at evenings and weekends.
  • Bringing a 7-day service to hospitals – creating safer and more integrated care. Around 6,000 people lose their lives every year as we don’t have a proper 7-day service in our hospitals. We are reforming consultant contracts to remove the opt-out from weekend working for newly qualified hospital doctors.
  • Delivering a 7-day dementia service – creating safer care throughout the week and helping to make the UK the most dementia friendly society in the world. Our new plan will guarantee dementia sufferers safer 7 day hospital care and tackle unacceptable variations in quality across England through transparent Ofsted style ratings.

Locally, Justin works very closely with the CCG (Clinical Commissioning Group) in Swindon to ensure that local residents have access to the best possible healthcare. This has included:

  • A long fought campaign to change the national funding formula for local healthcare provision, resulting in Swindon receiving a higher amount each year for healthcare funding. Along with representatives from the CCG, he wrote to the Health Secretary and the Chief Executive of NHS England to lobby for this change. The CCG was set to receive an increase of £30 million between 2016 and 2021, whereas now it will receive an increase of around £44 million, thanks to the successful campaign. This is a five-year cumulative investment of £127 million in Swindon healthcare.
  • The successful campaign to bring a dedicated Radiotherapy Unit to the GWH. The £2.9million facility will mean that patients from Swindon and the surrounding area will in future be able to receive vital treatment in their own town without having to travel over an hour to the nearest Radiotherapy in Oxford. Justin wrote to the Health Secretary and NHS England to help get the green light for the radiotherapy unit and continues to support the Brighter Futures Appeal.

Justin Tomlinson MP said: “Our NHS is a proud institution and once again the hard work & dedication of our excellent doctors, nurses and support workers has been shown with the findings of this report. While we know there are still challenges, and there is certainly more to do, the report by the Commonwealth Fund is further evidence that the NHS is the best health system in the world. Only twice in its history has this independent think tank assessed that our NHS is better than the health systems in other developed nations – both times under a Conservative government. In combination with world class clinicians, the Government has rightly invested in our NHS and in the five years to 2020 we will have spent more than half a trillion on healthcare in this country. This funding is delivering more doctors and nurses for our hospitals; ensuring more operations and diagnostic tests can be carried out; and improving patients’ experience. I have helped to secure an increase in our local NHS budget; fought to secure new resources like the radiotherapy centre at the GWH; and I will always take the ideas and concerns of patients & clinicians to Ministers to ensure that fellow local residents can always access high quality healthcare that is universal and free at the point of use.”

Font Size: Larger | Smaller | Reset