NHS´s healthcare services with positive results in 2019

The data published in the NHS´s Annual Healthcare Access Report, shows that 2019 was a positive year as to the citizens’ access to healthcare provision.

Primary care services presented a 1.2 per cent increase in medical consultations, compared to 2018, corresponding to a total of 31.5 million consultations. Over the same period, 19 million nurse consultations were made, representing a growth of 0.9 per cent.

Simultaneously, a total of 92.7 per cent of users had a family doctor assigned, and 87.5 per cent of primary care registered citizens had a family nurse.

These results represent the implementation of specific measures that aims to improve the activity of primary care, not only within the scope of the aforementioned indicators, but also in new oral health responses, in the widening of screening tests and the provision of complementary exams for diagnostic and therapeutic in primary healthcare units.

Regarding hospital care, there has also been an increase in the number of external appointments (+1.9 per cent compared to 2018), as well as a continuous growth in surgical procedures that, for the first time in the last 9 years, exceeded 700.000 surgeries performed in the NHS.

In 2019, the average for medical appointments carried out within the national waiting times was also maintained at 70 per cent and 74.3 per cent of emergency episodes were attended in the time provided for in the Manchester Triage System. On this level, the percentage of outpatient surgeries continues to grow, with several benefits, namely in quality of healthcare provision and user satisfaction.

Last year was also marked by the constant commitment to home hospitalization responses, and at the end of 2019, 24 units were already created in NHS hospitals, which made it possible to treat around 2.500 patients at home.

As to the long-term care, it is noteworthy the 5.4 per cent growth in the number of available hospital beds in 2019, reaching a total of 9.013 hospital beds, as well as the increase in the total number of available places (including  inpatient, outpatient and home care), which reached 14.833 at the end of the year. The number of users assisted in the National Network of Long-Term Integrated Care exceeded 50 thousand, more 3.7 per cent than 2018.

This report, published by the Ministry of Health, also ensures that, within the scope of priority health programs, it was made a collective effort to implement the measures provided for in these programs that aims for the main health needs of the population, and it highlights that for 2020 it is essential to maintain the investment “not only in more financial resources, but above all, in people: in health workers – in their working conditions, in their motivation – and in citizens – in responding to their needs, in investing in their heath literacy and in their interest to participate”.

Published on 29/12/2020

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