The NHS at 70

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Part of The NHS at 70

To mark the BBC's coverage of the NHS's 70th birthday in July 2018, researchers from The King's Fund, the Health Foundation, the Institute for Fiscal Studies and the Nuffield Trust have joined forces for the first time, using combined expertise to shed light on some of the big questions about the NHS.

The four organisations have been asked by the BBC to look at five key topics, covering the relative strengths and weaknesses of the health service, the state of social care, NHS funding, the public’s expectations of the NHS and the potential of technology to change things in future. This project and the reports we have produced are intended to inform the national conversation about the past, present and future of the NHS.

The reports

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How good is the NHS?

An investigation into three key aspects of a good health care system – comparing access, efficiency and outcomes in the UK to 18 similar countries, including France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States. 

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What can we do about social care?

Social care is complex, poorly understood and widely perceived as unfair  while facing unprecedented pressures. This paper explains the current pressures on social care, the impact this is having in England, and sets out the barriers and potential solutions to funding reform.

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Does the NHS need more money?

The UK government spends £150 billion every year on health  more than twice what we spent less than 20 years ago at the start of the 2000s. But might the NHS still require more funding, and if it does how could we find more money?

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Are we expecting too much from the NHS?

In this paper we explore the public’s expectations of the NHS, the balance between meeting those expectations and living within a constrained budget, and the question of who is responsible for keeping us healthy.

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What dilemmas will new technology pose for the NHS?

Technology is rarely the saviour of health services in the way that politicians hope – at least in the short term. It takes time to implement, requires shifts in workforce, and investment – posing real dilemmas for a cash-strapped NHS.

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