A temporal wormhole has opened up in HSJ’s content management system and an editorial filed in July 2078 has been received.
The NHS has celebrated its 130th anniversary with the service facing calls for radical reform and questions marks over its continued financial and structural stability.
‘Public unrest is growing over government plans to close the online profiles through which most patients interact with clinicians’
It has had little time to celebrate its victory over the so called “diseases of ageing”. Many turned out to be diseases of “an age” (ie: the second half of a person’s first century). Genetic medicine proved their equal and now we appear to have secured what the scientists refer to as ‘escape velocity’ from the threat of conditions like cancer. Born female and middle class in the west and you can expect to live to 120.
But the health conditions created by our sedentary lifestyle are burgeoning. The crippling weight of the explosion in diabetes in the first part of the century is still with us.
Looking to America
Meanwhile the unexpected psychological implication of the huge rise in virtual interaction is now one of the reasons why mental health conditions consume a third of the NHS budget. Spend on dementia continues to boom − a legacy of the failure to adequately invest in research when the problem began to emerge.
‘The new health secretary has sought to reassure the service there will be no “top-down reorganisation”’
Public unrest is growing over government plans to close the online profiles through which most patients interact with clinicians in favour of algorithm driven decision tools which are promised to finally remove medical error. Many candidates in the forthcoming general election have declared their intention to campaign for the retention of the profiles.
The proceeds raised by the sale of sites previously occupied by now hospitals are welcome, but the service’s financial problems remain. Simon Stevens III − the grandson of the man credited with saving the US healthcare system and leading its conversion to the English model − will have his work cut out as the new NHS chief. He will, of course, be only the second non-British person to lead the NHS since the surprise choice made in 2013.
The new health secretary has sought to reassure the service that − whatever is necessary to meet the demands of the future − it will not constitute a “top-down reorganisation”.