By Jacques Blagburn
After the Second Word War, the British labour government was determined to bandage up their people by tackling poverty, unemployment and healthcare.
The National Health Service was founded in 1948 by the post-war British government. Lead by the Health secretary Aneurin Bevan, a free service to all, regardless of socio-economic background differences, was born to protect and maintain a healthy population. This extremely ambitious plan was yet unclear of its potential and chances of success.
Today, the NHS has become the backbone of our country by providing care all over the UK. It is notably the biggest employer in the world with 1.4 million employees, a staggering yearly budget of around £113 billion recorded last year and a high capacity trust covering a million patients every 36 hours.
It is recognised as the best “quality for money” national health organisation in the world, but the question remains: what is stirring much frustration at the heart of our NHS problem?
Manchester Park Hospital is the home of the NHS. It was designed to treat all minor injuries, coughs and colds, the elderly and the soldiers. As time wears on, our expectations grow and the trust’s responsibilities have swollen.
A population getting older and frailer exacerbated by demographic growth and immigration can easily be translated by: more people to treat. Life expectancy rests at approximately 80 years old, in 50 years the UK population has grossed by 10 million and counting, and 66% of the UK is obese.
Doctors and nurses are struggling to stay on top of the waves of people needing treatment on a daily basis, making the atmosphere often stressful and busy in the wards, clinics and especially in A&E.
Expensive medicine and treatments are also a big issue for the NHS, with hefty prices reaching tens of thousands of pounds. All of the latter have become quite a mouthful for the hospitals and the budget.
If we put it into perspective, the NHS is getting old and is often taken for granted. There is great expectation from an ambitious plan unveiled nearly 70 years ago.
Nevertheless, it is a great achievement for our country which we must be proud of. No other country has achieved the same quality of service, with a budget relying only on taxes.
The government set strict temporal and financial targets for the hospitals to keep a satisfactory quality of service. They are however held back by the budget and the maximum capacity of beds and outpatients who can be accepted for treatment. It is indeed a juggling act between demand, capacity and performance, orchestrated through the NHS budget.