The NHS at 70

5 July 2018 marked the 70th birthday of the National Health Service

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For the past 70 years the NHS has been a mainstay of our society, offering free health care to everyone in the UK, no matter who they are or where they are from.

It is vital for a healthy, flourishing nation. A healthy society is not one that simply treats us when we are ill, but one that sees how health is shaped by political, social, economic and cultural factors that influence our health, and takes action on these for future generations.

On its 70th birthday the NHS faces significant challenges; ongoing workforce and funding pressures need to be met with long-term thinking to ensure that quality of care is not compromised in the future. While these challenges need to be addressed, transforming a system as diverse and complex as the NHS will not happen with a single structural, funding or technological solution. If we are to improve the quality of health care then it is essential that there is a greater focus on supporting and investing in the people on the frontline who work tirelessly to deliver care for patients.

Our work with the BBC

To mark this anniversary, the BBC asked the Health Foundation, Institute for Fiscal Studies, The King’s Fund and the Nuffield Trust to look at five central issues currently facing the NHS. These issues are the relative strengths and weaknesses of the national health service, its funding, the state of social care, the public’s expectations of the NHS, and the potential of technology to change things in the future.

Each issue is discussed in a separate briefing and is intended to inform and encourage a national conversation about the past, present, and future of the NHS. The briefings are supported and informed by opinion polls that looked into these five issues that are currently relevant to the NHS.

During the week commencing 25 June, we will be publishing briefings on five key areas of concern, framed around the following questions.

Publications

Briefing

NHS at 70: How good is the NHS?

The first of five briefings to inform and encourage a national conversation about the past, present, and future of the NHS.

Briefing

NHS at 70: What’s the problem with social care, and why do we need to do better?

The second of five briefings to inform and encourage a national conversation about the past, present, and future of the NHS.

Briefing

NHS at 70: Does the NHS need more money and how could we pay for it?

The third of five briefings to inform and encourage a national conversation about the past, present, and future of the NHS.

Briefing

NHS at 70: Are we expecting too much from the NHS?

The fourth of five briefings to inform and encourage a national conversation about the past, present, and future of the NHS.

Briefing

NHS at 70: What will new technology mean for the NHS and its patients?

This is the fifth of five briefings intended to inform and encourage a national conversation about the past, present, and fut...

Analysis

NHS at 70: Public perceptions

Poll conducted for the Health Foundation in partnership with The King’s Fund, Nuffield Trust and the Institute for Fiscal Stu...

News and comment

Blog

The NHS at 70: A time for reflection

As the NHS turns 70, Frances Wiseman (Assistant Director of Improvement) reflects on the human element of improvement in heal...

Press release

Advances in health care technology offer huge potential to improve the NHS but are no ‘silver bullet’

Technological advances – from the applied use of genomics, to the use of video consultations with a GP – offer real opportuni...

Press release

Attempts to shore up NHS at risk without adequate funding for social care

New analysis highlights that more people in need of care will fall through the cracks of the social care system if a plan for...

Press release

Government should do more to improve the public’s health

New briefing looks at whether the NHS is currently meeting public expectations and who is responsible for keeping us healthy.

Press release

NHS receives mixed scorecard in major analysis of international health systems

New report looks at three aspects of what constitutes a good health care system in the UK compared to 18 similar developed co...

Press release

Additional NHS funding will mean tough choices over tax rises

New analysis sets out how NHS spending has evolved over time and the pressures that it now faces, what the new funding announ...

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