The history of the NHS is one of evolution, of responding to the changing needs of the nation. Today’s NHS is rising to the challenge of a growing and ageing population, which means pressures on the service are greater than they have ever been.
The population of England alone has soared by around 17 million people since the NHS was launched all those years ago, so far more patients now receive life-saving, life-changing care than ever before – and public satisfaction is higher than ten or twenty years ago.
As the NHS turns 70, we will be talking about plans to address these pressures and make sure the NHS is fit for the future. This means, as a priority, making it easier to access your local GP, focusing hard on improving cancer diagnosis and swift treatment, and making sure that mental health services and urgent and emergency care are available whenever they’re needed.
Looking to the future
Looking to the future, the NHS is becoming more integrated and investing in new medicines, genetic research and digital technologies like apps and artificial intelligence, which will ensure we continue to live longer and healthier lives.
This is a future where healthcare is based around early detection and preventative care, where the NHS works collaboratively with local communities to help people live healthily, and with individuals and carers to spot and treat signs of illness at their earliest stages. Examples of current work that is making this future a reality include:
Where patients have serious illness, expert advice and cutting-edge treatments have become available to more and more people. In the future, treatments could be tailored to an individual’s DNA or surgeries be carried out virtually from remote locations. NHS-led work, supported by the government, is bringing these futuristic treatments into reach:
Innovation sits at the heart of the next 70 years of evolution, and embracing it is critical in enabling the NHS in England to deliver better outcomes for patients and help it continue to be the healthcare envy of the world.