- It’s the headline we’ve been seeing for years: our public #Health systems are failing to deliver the services required of them.
- It’s the marches in our streets, endless political rhetoric, petitions being signed throughout Britain. ‘#Save our #NHS’ coming from the mouths of the young and old, students, professionals, and the unemployed.
- It’s the horror stories of days waiting in A&E, avoidable deaths, a shortage of beds, doctors having to work back to back shifts and still being understaffed.
- It’s a financial defecit of billions, huge salaries paid to contractors, and the constant borrowing needed to prop up a system in collapse.
It all adds up to the #NHS crisis
In a recent review of NHS #Hospitals, 11% rated inadequate on safety, and a further 70% need improvement. That’s 81% of hospitals that are failing in their duty of care to patients.
The problems included:
- too few beds
- poor care
- long waits
- infections running rampant
- delayed operations (in some instances leading to death)
- badly maintained equipment
- too few staff
- agency workers, to supplement the staffing shortage, being untrained in hospital proceedures
The inspections were undertaken by the Care Quality Commission. Chief inspector, Professor Sir Mike Richards, commented on these findings, saying the NHS ‘cannot continue to meet the needs of today’s population’ and that it ‘stands on a burning platform’.
Introduced in the vastly different world of 1948
The NHS has been struggling to make it’s way in the modern times.
Major health problems beseige the population: obesity, cancer, diabetes, heart and kidney disease; and the failing bodies of the older generations. As medical advancements allow life to be prolonged far past what is natural, the NHS finds itself dealing with more people than ever before, with many requiring lifelong treatment. There is no easy cure.
Everyone has an opinion on the NHS
Some have several: it needs to go, it needs to stay, it needs cuts, it needs more funding, more staff, less bureaucrats, a complete restructuring, privatisation, destruction and replacement.
The NHS can’t cope with the influx of patients, but why are there so many patients that the NHS can’t cope?
The 'crisis' is that too many of us are unwell and require treatment, yet so many of our modern illnesses are preventable.
So where did it all go wrong?
To be mentally and physically healthy is a far off dream for those in the UK suffering chronic, delibitating, lifelong illnesses. Yet many who are healthy squander it with bad diets, smoking, and binge drinking.
The NHS's 'Live Well' programme has the right idea. It's full of information on health promotion, which is disease preventation, but rarely is it pushed through education or media channels to the populace. There's still widespread ignorance about the huge effect diet, exercise, mental state, and addiction have on the overall functioning of the human organism.
As health issues develop they are often managed with strong medications causing progessively worse side effects, leading to decreased wellbeing and ever declining health.
The NHS is incredibly important for a wide range of people, but in having so many of it’s resources taken up by preventable illnesses, it can no longer deliver the service it’s intended for.
The results are in!
This year, on the back of the CQC report, expect to see, read, and hear a lot more about the NHS crisis.
As people start pointing fingers and playing the political blame game, it might be worth taking some time to think about the role of the individual in maintaining their own health, and the effect our lifestyle choices have on an already bloated public service.