The NHS is important, providing treatment, relief and care in time of need, but no-one can claim it is responsible for more than 50% at the maximum of increased  life expectancy in the UK.

So it follows that many other things need to be addressed too, to improve health and well-being especially of those with the worst health chances. All the old public health targets as well as a few more – poverty, unemployment, poor nutrition, dangerous work, over-work, bad housing, air pollution, poor education, fear for today and fear for the future,  insecurity,  helplessness, hopelessness. and  lack of access to knowledge about health and lack of access to health promoting experiences like fresh air,  exercise, affordable healthy food.  The politicians all know most of this already, don’t they ? And so does almost everybody else. They know what they want their children to have or to avoid as they grow up.

Its not rocket science, its much more important than that, its restoring human understanding of what makes a good life and aiming towards a society where all can have one, instead of asking what (profitable) tests and medicines everyone should have to be ‘healthy”
An alternative guide to the new NHS in England:

An alternative guide to the new NHS in England from The King's Fund on Vimeo.

NB this was produced in 2013. It doesn’t quite work like this any more.

Also on this site:

Complaints, regulation and enquries,  NHS reorganisation,  Socialist Medical Association and the Foundation of the NHS

What do people think of the NHS?

Studies of the NHS

One Comment

  1. Adam Fitzpatrick says:

    I think that one of main problems we have in the NHS today is that the rapid expansion of funding between 2000 and 2010 drew in large numbers of staff, especially nurses, who wouldn’t have returned to work in the past. Staff costs 70%, disposables and drugs, 20% and buildings 10%. There’s little to be done about buildings now that most are mortgaged and a £ of savings on procurement prices is effective only 20p. We have more people working in the NHS than in the entire German healthcare system and they have 20m more people. This can only mean that a lot of our staff are not needed and are not adding value, whilst clearing out the non-jobs would save 70p on the £.

    The second biggest scourge is targets. They all need to be scrapped because many are designed to “save lives” and so are ultimately all fairs assignments.

    Ironically, there is a way in which the NHS could have been much better, quicker and more effective. That would have been to steadily increase the output of medical schools from the beginning of the Thatcher internal market. We still have a significant shortage of consultants and GPs, but by now competition between doctors for jobs would have driven down costs and up standards. Instead of this we have a bloated, ineffective system with hundreds of thousands of non-bedside nurses doing non-jobs and making 20% of a decision. My department is stiff with uniformed nurses looking after a computer.

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