1948 celebrates many great innovations and changes that have influenced today’s society.
The first ever Land Rover was launched to the public, the Gas Board is formed, Corporal Punishment is abolished, however one key institution was created that affects everyone today and over the 70 years.
july 5th 1948 the NHS was launched. Today we celebrate 70 years of this great institution that serves so many. It is the worlds largest public health system employing over 1.5 million people in the UK. It’s a global brand and one that is admired by the world.
There is no doubt that the NHS system is under pressure, that it’s ageing in some quarters, however there is also a public swell that wants to protect what is great about it, but also recognising significant changes are required urgently.
‘We are living longer, new complex illnesses are challenging society, obesity on the rise and the fact we are all living longer. There are also the new complex issues surrounding mental health wellbeing , a new support system is required for all generations in this matter.
The way we live now is also having a negative impact on our health. Drinking too much alcohol, smoking, a poor diet with not enough fruit and vegetables and not doing enough exercise are all major reasons for becoming unwell and needing to rely on our health services. Increasing numbers of overweight children show us that this problem is currently set to continue.
The change in public expectations
Originally, tackling disease was the main job of the NHS. Now, we all expect so much more. From advice on healthcare management through to mental health and social care, contraception, antenatal and maternity services, vaccination programmes and the fast, efficient processing of our medication and appointments. All of this with a growing population due to living longer and higher birth rates with lower infant mortality.
Accident and Emergency departments
More and more people are visiting A&E departments and minor injury units – which is stretching the ability of the departments to cope. A lot of the visits are unavoidable, but some are visiting because of inconsistent management of their long-term health conditions, the inability to get a GP appointment or insufficient information on where to go with a particular complaint. Winter sees an even bigger rise in visitor numbers with staff finding it harder by the year to cope.
The current financial crisis, rising costs of services, energy and supplies; innovations and technological breakthroughs that require more investment – along with higher numbers of people to cater for – all spell out a huge economic disaster for the NHS.
It is estimated that without radical changes to the way the system works, as demand rises, and costs rise too, the NHS will become unsustainable, with huge financial pressures and debts. If we make no changes we face a £30 billion funding gap for the NHS nationally by 2020 .
Advances in medicine and technology
The great news amongst all of this gloom is that there has never been a better time to face an overhaul. Huge advancements in medicine and surgery, alongside IT and technological innovations mean that there is a wealth of ideas and efficiencies that could potentially be implemented to bring our NHS up to modern standards to meet the needs of us all in the 21 Century. Utilising these new approaches within a major restructure the NHS could go on to be a reassuring source of health care and wellbeing, as well as an inspirational model of good working practice for years to come.
My summary, we all recognise it’s amazing contribution, meaning the team who work in it from the surgeons, nurses, paramedics, cleaners, canteen staff and volunteers along with so many others. Now is the time to depoliticise it, not allowing it to carry on being a political agenda for others, to carry on making poor decisions or descions just so they can gain votes. Today it must be recognised that the NHS is owned by the GB&I Public, yes you and I.
We are real people with real lives and those who work within are the same, they are human beings.
Today a real rethink is required , a clear defined strategy that is cross party with real buisness leaders and those who work within shaping the future of it.
Meaning 70 years in the future we can all look back and once again celebrate its contribution to society.
Happy Birthday NHS
We are all proud of you and your teams who continue to make a difference.