The National Health Service (NHS) can be referred to the name used by four public health services in the UK, namely, NHS England, NHS Scotland, Health and Social Care in Northern Ireland and NHS Wales. The chief principles of NHS include that the service provided by the organization should be universal, comprehensive and free for the residents of UK (Murray et al. 2013). However the dental and optical treatment provided by NHS requires the service users to pay.
Current situation of UK NHS
The Britain NHS has provided a outstanding service to the residents of UK specially during the time of economic uncertainty and dislocation since NHS assures that access to health care is not related to the income of the service users. However since the last five years, Britain’s National Health Service (NHS) is facing several dilemmas while providing health care services the service users. The NHS England is heading into a critical financial crisis due to lack of governmental funds. According to Simon Stevens, the chief executive of NHS, the organization has not received the money it had requested for the year 2017 to 2020 and hence is facing difficulties to meet the requirements of the service users (England 2016).
Identification and analysis of a current issue
As stated earlier, the chief issue faced by the Britain NHS is the provision and funding of health care. The current budget of NHs in England is 105 billion dollars. This amount represents only 18 percent of the current expenditure of the public. A majority of the funding of NHS is provided by the government of the UK that is from national insurance payment and taxation. However, this funding available to the employees of the mentioned organization is not able to provide the required facilities and treatments to the service providers. One of the chief reasons behind this is the fact that service users are not directly paying the organization for the health care service provided. According to theory of economy, in order to cope up with the increased amount of demand, the price of the service provided should be raised to bring a equilibrium (Brett et al. 2014). However due to the above stated reason, the NHS is not able to enhance the price which is resulting in increased dissatisfaction and inconvenience of the service users. The NHS was facing challenges with providing quick and efficient services to the service users and as a result the high waiting list had attracted the attention of the media. In order to cope up with the high waiting lists, some hospitals under NHS had diverted several operations to the private sectors and as a result the cost of treatments exceeds the budget of NHS. In 2006, the NHS recorded its highest overspend against budget and as a result was asked to treat limited amount of patient. Apart from that, the number of available beds in UK hospitals under NHS has also reduced due to lack of funding.
Graph 1: Change in the number of available beds
Source (Goulding et al. 2012)
It can be concluded from the above discussion that UK NHS needs the help of the government to deal with the issue of funding. The service users of UK are not able to get necessary medical treatments and are also suffering from prolonged waiting in order to get the service. This in turn is has resulted in consumer dissatisfaction an inconvenience. Thus the management of UK NHS along with the government needs to work on increasing the funding of the mentioned organization so that it a provide necessary facilities to the health care seeking residents of UK.
In order to deal with the issue of lack of funding, some of the suggested recommendations are stated below.
- The management of UK should hold meeting with the ministers of UK government for stating the issues faced by the organization. Government must focus on the development of equipment, buildings and employees of the NHS.
- The remuneration of the service providers and health care professionals should be increased so that they can provide more time to the service users who are availing NHS facilities. It has been found that a good number of doctors are investing less amount of time in hospitals for which several service users are facing difficulties in getting surgery appointments at the weekends or in the evening.
- The cost effectiveness of the drug should be analyzed before purchasing in bulk. Drugs which are highly costly but don’t have a huge amount of beneficial values should be replaced by drugs that are comparatively less costly (Linley and Hughes 2013).
Brett, J., Staniszewska, S., Mockford, C., Herron-Marx, S., Hughes, J., Tysall, C. and Suleman, R., 2014. A systematic review of the impact of patient and public involvement on service users, researchers and communities. The Patient-Patient-Centered Outcomes Research, 7(4), pp.387-395.
England, N.H.S., 2016. NHS ENGLAND. Evidence review: pasireotide for acromegaly as third-line management treatment (adults). Dost?p: engage. england. nhs. uk/consultation/clinical-commissioningwave4/user_uploads/a03x11-pasiretd-evidnc-rep. pdf (28.12. 2016).
Goulding, L., Adamson, J., Watt, I. and Wright, J., 2012. Patient safety in patients who occupy beds on clinically inappropriate wards: a qualitative interview study with NHS staff. BMJ Qual Saf, 21(3), pp.218-224.
Linley, W.G. and Hughes, D.A., 2013. Societal views on NICE, cancer drugs fund and value?based pricing criteria for prioritising medicines: A cross?sectional survey of 4118 adults in Great Britain. Health economics, 22(8), pp.948-964.
Murray, C.J., Richards, M.A., Newton, J.N., Fenton, K.A., Anderson, H.R., Atkinson, C., Bennett, D., Bernab?, E., Blencowe, H., Bourne, R. and Braithwaite, T., 2013. UK health performance: findings of the Global Burden of Disease Study 2010. The lancet, 381(9871), pp.997-1020.