NHS trusts face growing pressures and difficulties despite funding pledges from the government and a new long term plan for the health service, a report warns.
NHS Providers said patients and taxpayers deserve honesty, realism and transparency about how much the NHS can deliver and how quickly.
A poll conducted for the report found nine in 10 NHS trust bosses are worried about a lack of investment in social care in their local area.
The same proportion do not feel there has been enough
public debate about the challenges and opportunities facing the NHS and its
Only 29% of trust leaders are confident that their trust currently has the right numbers, quality and mix of staff in place to deliver high-quality healthcare to patients and service users.
In addition, 77% are worried that there is not enough investment in public health and prevention services in their local area.
A further 72% are concerned about whether their trust can make the capital investment needed to maintain and modernise the NHS estate and equipment.
Chris Hopson, NHS Providers’ chief executive, warned that the NHS faces a triple whammy of rapidly rising demand, severe workforce challenges and the need to recover from the longest and deepest funding squeeze in NHS history.
“Current performance levels are the worst in a decade and trying to work NHS staff harder and harder is simply not sustainable,” he said. “Unless we level with the public about how long it will take to recover from where we are and how quickly we can deliver the NHS long term plan, public commitment to the NHS is on the line.”