Advertisement

The National Health Service in the UK

  • Andrew Cash
Chapter

Abstract

The National Health Service (NHS) was the first universal healthcare system developed after the Second World War and was founded ‘in place of fear’. After the trauma of the war years, people demanded a new set of arrangements across a number of public services and the NHS was designed to provide essentially free care, at the point of need, irrespective of age, health, race, religion, social status or the ability to pay—from ‘cradle to the grave’.

With increasing life expectancy, evolving technology, chronic illnesses and increasing patient expectations, healthcare is facing a crisis in providing a high quality, safe, effective and efficient healthcare within a restricted and often limited financial envelope.

The issue we now face is will the NHS, designed 70 years ago, still be fit to tackle the challenges we face ahead? Moreover what do we need to do to make sure the NHS is fit for purpose for the next 5, 10, 15 and 20 years?

This chapter explores the challenges facing the NHS and ways in which these challenges may be overcome. The principles that underpin this process can be applied to most healthcare models globally.

Keywords

The National Health Service Healthcare Challenges to healthcare 

References

  1. 1.
    ‘The New National Health Service’ prepared by the Central Office of Information for the Ministry of Health. 1948.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Aneuran Bevan; 5 July 1948.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Aneuran Bevan. NHS debate 1958 House of Commons 30 July.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Times Higher Education. World university rankings. THE; 2015.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    All-Party Parliamentary Group on Global Health. The UK’s contribution to health globally: benefitting the country and the world. APPG-GH; 2015.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Facing the facts, shaping the future. A draft health and care workforce strategy for England to 2027. Health Education England.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Commonwealth Fund. Mirror on the wall: how the performance of the US healthcare system performs internationally − 2014 update. New York: Commonwealth Fund; 2014.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    NHS constitution for England. 8 March 2012.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Andrew Cash
    • 1
  1. 1.Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation TrustSheffieldUK

Personalised recommendations