An alarming number of NHS hospital services have been affected by the surge of COVID-19. With an increasing number of patients being admitted to hospital than ever before, other key services such as cancer treatment have been cancelled as resources are stretched thin.
How might this affect the NHS in a post-Covid future?
There was a record 4.46 million [patients] on the waiting list for routine treatment, including knee and hip operations. More than 192,000 have waited more than one year - in February, before the pandemic started, the figure stood at 1,600. From these figures, we can identify that the NHS will have to rapidly prioritise these patients in a post-Covid future to makeup for this back-log. How do you think they can achieve this? What impact may this back-log have on the NHS and its workforce over the next few years?
If we were to have more pandemics in the future, how would the NHS have to adapt to enable other services can run alongside emergency ones?
With a record number of 3,745 people in one day who had to wait over 12 hours for a hospital bed via A&E, it is evident that resources are already being stretched to unprecedented levels in the current Covid climate. With the addition of Brexit and its future consequences on the NHS, significant reforms will need to be implemented in order to sustain our healthcare system. This period will test the strength of the NHS and potentially question its survival. If the NHS fails to meet this demand, what changes may happen to healthcare in the UK? Will this lead to a push for privatising the NHS? What are the advantages and disadvantages of this?