01 Sep 1 SEPT: REFORM OF THE NATONAL HEALTH SERVICE (NHS)
Writers: Nadia Abdul, Cormac Devlin, Maya de Silva Wijeyeratne, Nikhil Dwivedi, Kai Johns, Mark O’Brien, João Pedro Borges Santos
Editor: Nikhil Dwivedi
The National Health Service (NHS) is neither sustainable nor effective in its current form. The advent of the ageing population and along with it, the prevalence of multiple, long-term, complex health conditions, has meant that the NHS no longer serves the same population it was originally designed for. The NHS must reconfigure itself to effectively serve this new demographic; but it must do so against the backdrop of the lingering effects of both the economic crash and weak, ineffective recent reform.
This paper looks to the healthcare successes and innovations of other countries’ for answers. Structurally, there should be greater decentralisation of the NHS to allow local authorities to best tackle the health problems facing their particular populations, whilst avoiding the bureaucracy they currently face. Fiscally, this paper finds that the recent drive towards cuts in spending to the NHS in order to relieve the deficit will not allow resolution of service or sustainability issues in the NHS. Decentralisation, along with a change in policy emphasis from short-term deficit control to long-term planning of care methods, will allow the NHS to fund services in a sustainable and effective way