For me it is hard to think of the UK without the National Health Service. It is such a backbone for the country. Unbelievably the NHS is due its next big birthday on the 5th July. There is always plenty of discussion points when it comes to the NHS. Good stories, bad stories and lots of issues around budgets! Here are my thoughts about the NHS.
When the NHS was formed the government set its budget at £457 million, which would equate to around 15 Billion pounds in today’s money. The budget today is well over seven times that! I would imagine that population growth and technology being the main reasons for this leap. With the budget being firmly propped up by taxation, I think it is clear an extra boost to finances is in order. However, there also needs to be a level of scrutiny as costs seem to spiral out of control. Manpower costs being one of the high contenders with locum staff charging extraordinary fees. With the NHS having no choice but to pay them in order to keep a service running!
With nearly a quarter of the NHS budget being set aside for medical negligence. I think it is important not to get bogged down with the negatives that we have to keep so much budget aside for this cover. Instead focus on the fact that system will be kept safer as it makes the medical profession accountable for their actions. And lets face it if something does go wrong, you as an individual need to have that additional reassurance and support.
Building a future
The NHS is the fifth biggest organisations in the world, employing 1.7 million people. I strongly believe that with so many consultations being undertaken by your local GP funding does need to swing around along with additional service provision. GP consultation rates make up the majority of all patient contacts within the NHS but is only funded a fraction of the budget. As GP’s appear to be the gatekeepers for hospital admissions, transferring some budget over could lead to improved local services. Keeping patients at home rather than leading to admission. Collaborative working is currently being undertaken between practices in order to improve services. However additional funding should be given, rural communities would benefit greatly by having better local provision.
I for one will be celebrating the NHS’s 70th. Let’s hope for a continued and bright future!