Our NHS is in early stage terminal decline

Our NHS is in early stage terminal decline

NHS5 July 1948, England. Welsh Labour politician Aneurin Bevan with a group of nurses on the day that the NHS came into being. ‘The NHS, born out of war and strife, helped heal a nation,’ writes David Nicholson and others. Photograph: Popperfoto/Getty Images

The serious underfunding of general practice and social care over the last five years means that the NHS faces tough times ahead as it embarks on integration. Moreover, the closures to GP-led walk-in centres, hospital beds, mental health services and community services are placing worrying pressure on elderly care and community services, and are proving counterproductive.

The NHS, born out of war and strife, helped heal a nation. The NHS constitution states that it belongs to the people and it is a democratic service offering universal health care. It is a fair service. We urge whichever government is in office to provide the NHS funding to the EU or OECD average, based on share of GDP; restore accountability through the secretary of state to provide a universal health service; and to stop the damaging and relentless drive towards a health market. We must restore the founding principles of our highly successful health service, and bring it back into public ownership, ensuring that it is publicly funded, publicly delivered and fully accountable to the public. Only these measures will provide the right treatment to restore it to good health..
David Nicholson Ex-chief executive of NHS England
Dr Iona Heath GP and past president of the Royal College of General Practitioners
Dr Clare Gerada GP and past chairman of the RCGP
Leslie Turnburg Past president of the Royal College of Physicians
Dr Kailash Chand GP and ex-chair of Tameside & Glossop primary care trust
Sabaratnam Arulkumaran Professor emeritus and past chair of RCOG
Professor Dinesh Bhugra Psychiatrist and past president of Royal College of Psychiatrists
Prof Raymond Tallis Emeritus professor of elderly medicine
Dr Ramesh Mehta Chairman, British Association of Physicians of Indian Origin
Dr J S Bamrah Consultant psychiatrist

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