Over the course of the last 69 years the NHS has been through many ups and downs but throughout it all the service has maintained its core aims.
It hasn’t always been pretty but the NHS has been consistent at providing a wide range of general and specialist high quality treatment for the society it serves, free at the point of service. That society has faced a lot of changes and developments over the years, perhaps no more so than in recent years.
Recent years have seen its budgets cut to such an extent that it now seems its very existence is in threat.
Most of us find it shocking that the NHS has been allowed to get into such a state in the first place. You don’t have to do much digging to find that the service has been finding ways of working despite the cuts.
It is a given that society has been changing but how has it changed? Yes, we have more people using the NHS than we did several decades ago, but that isn’t just down to immigrants who have come to contribute to our society. We also have citizens who are living longer as well as a greater number of births.
The nature of society is changing as well. The NHS was originally set up with the intention of ridding society of disease. In 2017 the expectations we have from our health service are almost unrecognisable. We demand and expect that the NHS adapts to treat ailments caused by our lifestyles, long-term illnesses, multimorbidity etc. Meanwhile treatments have become more effective but they are still costly in an era when finances are in a perilous situation.
Do we place unfair expectations upon the NHS? Why are the finances in such a state? Just where does all the money go? Check out the infographic which clearly explains how the money is distributed.