Recent Posts



What’s going on with our NHS? Pt 5. The need to propose solutions.

Introduction: It is useful to describe problems and to share personal experiences. They can help define what it is we are trying to improve. But….. we also need proposed solutions. There are no easy answers to the woes that beset the NHS. Here are my thoughts based upon my preceding four posts. 1. The need to propose solutions: Decide what we want. Public opinion is clear – the people of the UK want a National Health Service, and they want it to be successful. It is also clear that it should be above party politics, and its task clearly defined beyond fundamental principles. To my mind, that suggests work for a non-aligned authoritative body. There are clear precedents. A Liberal-led coaliti

What’s going on with our NHS? Pt 4. What's gone wrong?

What’s Gone Wrong With The NHS? This post moves on to consider what’s gone wrong with the NHS? Why are we where we are? Fundamentals: To most people its principles are beyond reproach: to be available to all; to be free at the point of delivery; and for provision to be according to relative need. Fine though they be, they contribute to the problem. Its resources still follow the original, Bevanite principal. It is funded entirely from taxation. This is not a unique model, but most comparable countries have chosen a different one. Theirs usually combine some form of personal insurance with public funding. These two, the underlying principles and the Bevanite funding arrangement, result in an

What’s going on with our NHS? Pt 3. What do governments want?

What’s going on with our NHS? Pt 3. What do governments want? Every government has its own agenda for the NHS. The service is staggeringly expensive – for example, its budget dwarfs those for the armed forces or education. Governments are in a tricky position regarding this cherished facet of UK life. They bear responsibility for the service and all its failings. But also with the bill, rising at a rate far in excess of inflation. We seldom praise politicians for improving the state of the NHS. Gordon Brown got close with the marked reduction in hospital waiting lists that followed his substantial increase in funding. So it would be no surprise if, over the years, many ministers have had tw

What’s going on with our NHS?   Pt 2. What do we want? Yes – us!

What’s Going On With Our NHS? Pt 2. What Do We Want? Yes – Us! What’s going on with our NHS? Pt 2. What do we want? Yes – us! What we want from the NHS depends upon a multitude of things. Who we are, our beliefs, our health experiences, our political leanings, our age, social circumstances, gender, and so on. You and I may disagree, but that does not mean either of us is wrong. We are just different. But how do we, as a society, make rational decisions about priorities within the service? Someone, somewhere, has to decide. An illuminating exercise: About 20 years ago I was invited to hold a series of seminars for GPs and other health service staff about setting appropriate priorities withi

What’s Going On With Our NHS? Pt 1. Stakes In The Ground.

What’s going on with our NHS? Pt 1. Stakes in the ground. What’s going on with our NHS? is a short series of posts about the current state of the NHS. The NHS is in crisis. It has always seemed to be in trouble, but never more so than now. What’s the problem? If that question was easy, and the solution obvious, then we would not be where we are now. But surely, as a start we can be clear about some things, to put some agreed stakes in the ground? 1. The British love it: Polls show this over and over again. The public holds its NHS in higher regard than any other element of British society. 2. It has impeccable principles: The NHS is founded on a fine set of principles that befit a humane,