‘The NHS if’ is a collection of essays that explores hypothetical scenarios and their impact on the future of health and care.
We are asking a small number of experts – some of them members of staff at The King’s Fund and others external experts in their fields – to write short essays that consider ‘what if’ questions about health and care in England.
Our aim is to encourage new thinking and debate about possible future scenarios that could fundamentally change health and care. The essays cover three themes: the NHS and society; medicine, data and technology; and how the NHS works.
The NHS and society
- Nicholas Timmins - What if Beveridge were reporting today?
- Chris Naylor - What if the NHS were to go carbon neutral?
- Ilora Finlay - What if 'assisted dying' were legalised?
- David Buck - What if we eradicated obesity? Looking back from 2050
Medicine, data and technology
- Ara Darzi and Oliver Keown - What if every patient were to have their genome mapped?
- Richard Smith - What if everyone over 55 was offered a pill to prevent heart attacks and strokes?
- Matthew Honeyman - What if people controlled their own health data?
- Sally Davies and Rebecca Sugden - What if antibiotics were to stop working?
How the NHS works
- John Appleby - What if people had to pay £10 to see a GP?
- Vijaya Nath - What if NHS leaders were more representative of their patients?
- Bob Kerslake - What if the NHS had to balance its books like local government?
- David Oliver - What if there were community services for older people 24/7?
In each essay, the author gives their informed but personal view of a possible future. We invite you to let us know what you think and join the debate by adding your comments below the essays or by tweeting using the hashtag #NHSif.
We challenged our readers to write an essay for ‘The NHS if’ series that would explore a future scenario for the NHS, considering the potential impact on the health system and wider society. Now, you can read the competition winner and runner-up.