Factors Influencing the NHS in Modern Britain
The National Health Service was formed in mid 1948 after the desperation of the civilian during and after World War II. This body was formed to address health issues in public interest. Its establishment was driven by the Ministry of Health minister during that time on fifth July 1948. The service has over the years improved healthcare services, and transformed lives of millions of Britain citizens. Charged with responsibility of delivering quality healthcare in Britain, NHS has been able to spread social justice in the British society. However, there are several factors influencing the NHS in modern Britain (National Health Service 2012).
Factors influencing the NHS in modern Britain
NHS in the modern Britain is influenced by a number of factors. First and foremost, social factors deeply influence the NHS. Though there has been an improvement in healthcare in the last eight years in the United Kingdom, the benefit to best off individuals has been significantly greater than the benefits to the worst off in the society (BBC, 2012). This presents issues of social health inequality and social justice as a whole. The widening of inequality gap and injustice in the healthcare sector in Britain has generated pressure to NHS to draw-up health policy to reduce health inequalities and social injustices. In its quest to react to the social pressure, the ministry of health has identified reduction of health inequalities as NHS key priority. The pressure has also influenced NHS to tackle and consider social factors in formulation of both government and NHS health policies (BBC, 2012).
Human resources factors are also an important issue that is influencing NHS in modern Britain. NHS human capital is one of the most highly qualified human personnel in Britain. Majority of NHS employees are females constituting almost seventy-eight per cent of the total workforce (Department of Health, 2004). Furthermore, almost half of the total NHS employees are nurses. From this statistics, it is acceptable to say that the capacity of NHS performance is dependent on female employees. However, women have low representation in senior management positions as compared to their male counterparts (Department of Health, 2004). This goes against the expectation that women should form a bulk of NHS leadership and management. The gender imbalance both in employment, leadership, and management is seen as a key factor influencing NHS in Britain (Miller, 2007).
The health services in Britain are also influenced by shortage of nurses and excessive workload (Carayon & Gurses, 2008). The nursing workforce majorly consists of an ageing population of nurses who are set to retire in the next ten years. This situation is further worsened by low pay and new qualified nurses who are not employed due to lack of nursing jobs. These scenarios have placed the state of NHS at stake and are greatly affecting the provision of healthcare services in Britain (Carayon & Gurses, 2008).
Demographic changes and changes in life expectancy have had significant influence on the health services in Britain today (Wanless, 2002). Recent periods have witnessed increase in chronic disease and drop in life expectancy in the United Kingdom. Additionally, the number of ageing population has significantly increased over the years. These factors have placed immense pressure on NHS to devote substantial resources to healthcare services as a means of meeting public expectations (Wanless, 2002).
Finally, technology has been a critical influencing factor to NHS in Britain in the modern days. Technology has been vital in provision of flexible healthcare services to patients in Britain (Liddel, Adshead & Burgess, 2008). NHS is compelled to initiate technology in the provision of health services so as to meet consumer need for better healthcare services. This has influenced technological innovative through substantial research and development to develop new healthcare technologies. These technological innovations are important in meeting consumer or patient needs for use of technology in consultation and information advice, diagnosis, monitoring, and treatment. NHS has embraced technology so as to better clinical outcomes (Liddel, Adshead & Burgess, 2008).
NHS has transformed the healthcare sector in Britain since its formation more than sixty years ago. To continue offering quality healthcare services to consumers, NHS has had to consider factors. Social, technological, demographic, and human resources factors have played vital role in influencing NHS in the modern Britain.
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