The state of NHS health care

673854_doctor_patient_relationshipEver since the National Health Service (NHS) was created in 1948, it has become established as one of the most important and cherished institutions. And while it is a very large organisation which has to operate within strict budgets, it does its job very effectively.

What is the Role of the NHS?

The role of the NHS is multi-faceted. At its basic, it is there to treat the sick and wounded. It is also free at the point of use for all UK citizens. So, if you are unwell, you can simply book an appointment with a local GP or walk into any hospital accident and emergency department anywhere in the country and be treated.

However, the NHS is more than this. It is also responsible for all health related services; many NHS hospitals are also responsible for the training of future medical staff, particularly doctors. It also carries out research and provides information and advice for both the general public and medical practitioners; for example, maintenance of good health care standards.

doctorResearch in the NHS

Recently set up, the Health Research Support Service (HRSS) is just the latest initiative to help medical scientists and others analyse health care data to help improve patient safety, improve health outcomes as well as improve the quality of life of people in general. The NHS also carries out in-house research into a wide variety of medical issues from Diabetes to Cancer. Many citizens are often invited to take part in clinical trials, all at no cost. Doing so helps not just patients but also ensures treatments are both clinically and cost effective.

While the NHS does try to be ‘all things to all men’ there are times when this is just not possible; particularly when money is tight. As such, the NHS will work in partnership with individuals and organisation outside. For example, if your GP thinks you need a specific treatment, but this is not available on the NHS or not available locally, then he or she might send you to a private clinic. Hopefully the local primary care trust will pay for it.

1168881_sunsetPsychological Services

One growing area of the NHS is psychological services. Mental health is a growing problem for many people. Until recently, most people had to pay private practitioners. Today, there are a range of psychological services available from Low Level therapies to more intense treatments via psychologists and psychiatrists.

Geriatric Care

This is another area which is becoming more and more important with an increasing number of people living longer. Services range from physical well-being to mental health and anything in between.

Many older people have long term disabilities which may require different treatment once the individual grows old.

Paediatric Medicine

At the opposite end of the age span, the NHS is also responsible for operating good maternity and paediatric health care standards. Some hospitals such as Alder Hey Hospital in Liverpool are dedicated children’s units, while most major hospitals have paediatric and maternity units connected. Other services available on the NHS include the ambulance service, dentistry, radiology and nutrition.