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NHS crisis 'far worse in London' as soaring house prices make recruitment difficult

The NHS in London faces a looming 'crisis' because of a shortage of money, nurses and doctors, according to a leading health charity.

Credit: PA

The problem in London is said to be far worse than anywhere else in the UK because soaring house prices make it harder to recruit key staff.

The closure of Accident & Emergency departments, longer GP waiting times and the performance of some hospital trusts has made the NHS in London a major election issue.

Credit: PA

The chief executive of the King's Fund, an influential health think-tank, claimed London's growing population was putting pressure on a health service already under stress.

Chris Ham said the closure of A&E departments at Chase Farm, Central Middlesxex and Hammersmith hospitals had increased the strain on neighbouring casualty units.

The NHS in London is approaching a crisis because the money is running out, demand is increasing, hospitals are under pressure, the quality of primary care is variable, there aren't enough GPs and nurses.

And one of the big issues is recruiting the workforce for the future given the high cost of housing in the capital. If you add all those ingredients together it's a very explosive mix.

Mr Ham said despite the problems, the health service in London functioned well in many areas and more money was not the only answer.

– Chris Ham, chief executive, King's Fund

Mr Ham said despite the problems, the health service in London functioned well in many areas and more money was not the only answer.