The National Health Service (NHS) of the UK is a totemic institution – much loved by the British public, and a model for elsewhere. But it faces fundamental challenges. Can it keep up with changes in medicine? Can it adapt to changing expectations of the public and of its own staff? And most fundamentally, can we afford to keep it?
In this seminar, we will look at how the NHS came into being, how it was originally managed and operated and the series of significant structural and policy changes that have shaped the modern NHS. We will compare this with other systems emerging elsewhere, especially in Europe, and ask what we can learn from them. And we will explore the central challenges the NHS faces for the future, which have been compounded by the COVID-19 pandemic – can we keep the NHS for the next 70 years, too?