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The NHS began with a bitter doctor’s dispute. Nye Bevan, the towering socialist Welsh force of nature, and Minister of Health whose single – some would say bloody – mindedness in pushing through the root law that set up the world’s first fully funded public healthcare system, in 1948, was a hate figure for most doctors.
Over the last few decades safe and effective new medical technologies have been widely welcomed by patients and health care professionals alike, and helped to transform life expectancy. Asthma inhalers are one of these major medical technology success stories – launching in the 1970’s they enabled the delivery of new active compounds to the lungs to fight asthma attacks in a highly portable unit.
The Coalition Government should be commended for its efforts to drive the life sciences agenda. After setting down an early statement of intent with the Strategy for UK life sciences, last year’s re-launch of the Office for Life Sciences, operating across the departments of business and health, signalled a clear intention to harness the potential of modern technology to create a health service fit for the 21st century.
Our health and social care systems are at a crossroads and of the wide-ranging health challenges currently facing the UK, one of the most unsettling issues is the persistent health inequalities experienced by populations across the North of England.
As we approach polling day, I believe the choice we are facing on the future of the NHS is becoming ever more clear. The choice is simple: between the focus of Jeremy Hunt and the Conservative Health team on supporting NHS leaders to improve the culture of care and transparency, promote patient empowerment and accelerate access to new treatments by unlocking the power of the NHS as a pioneer of medical innovation, and the depressing sight of Andy Burnham determined to ‘weaponise’ the NHS for partisan advantage.
It’s that time of year, when rising demand meets NHS spending limits. Why has this become such an annual – and unwelcome – winter event? The NHS raises passions like no other state organisation in the world.
A joint report by Candesic and the College of Emergency Medicine (CEM) analysed over 3,000 patient records who visited twelve Emergency Departments (A&Es) across the country and found that most people (85%) who attended A&E needed to be seen in an emergency setting.
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