Thursday, November 23, 2006

Chapter 5 - The Future of the NHS

This is a summary of Chapter 5 - The Future of Medicine. It was written by Dr Robert Winter, a consultant physician and Medical Director, Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

He explains the Paradox that although the scope of modern medicine is immeasurably greater than it was, the optimism generated by its advances seems to have evaporated. In short, ‘medicine is doing better, but feeling worse’. The future of the NHS is a scenario where the elderly are living longer yet in less good health towards the end of life, the young with more ill-health related to lifestyle all demand access to high cost, high technology drugs and resources. This scenario is undesirable and unsustainable.

Perhaps the challenge for the future NHS will be to develop a more holistic, integrated approach with an emphasis on keeping people well and a service that better reflects high, but reframed, consumer expectations. He believes this will provide a more balanced and therefore a more hopeful future – the basis of a new kind of modern NHS. If this can be achieved then he thinks this would be the cusp of a new enlightenment.

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