Why is the NHS under pressure?
If you have turned on the news over the past couple of years, been outside, been to a social gathering, you would have heard people talking about the healthcare industry and everyone asking the question “Why is the NHS under pressure?”. In particular, people have been talking about: staff shortages, waiting times and more nurses leaving the profession than ever before. It is clear that the NHS is under pressure, especially areas such as emergency departments and GP services. But why?
We at Enferm have put together a quick list of the main reasons that the NHS is under pressure.
Due to the advances in science and medical technology, medicine can keep people alive for longer and treat diseases that would have killed someone 65 years ago. Often people with ‘one or more illnesses’ can be treated a lot quicker and more efficiently. This means that there are more people to treat and less money paid in taxes, which in turn means less funding for the NHS. Thus begins a vicious cycle.
Increased alcohol consumption, smoking, poor diet and not enough exercise are all major factors in more people visiting their GP and A&E services. This problem is set to continue with an increase in the number of overweight children, reports claim.
With the public expecting so much more from the NHS, including mental health and social care services, contraception and vaccinations, services face high expectations from the public.
The emergency department’s ability to cope under pressure has increased in recent years. With targets increasing and with more people visiting A&E and attending minor injury departments. Although most visits can’t be helped, many are because people are unable to get a GP appointment. My health London said: “It is estimated that without radical changes to the way the system works, as demand rises, and costs rise too, the NHS will become unsustainable, with huge financial pressures and debts. If we make no changes we face a £30 billion funding gap for the NHS nationally by 2020.”