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What would you like see politicians do to ensure the NHS is sustainable?

The BMA has launched its manifesto highlighting Four Steps to a Healthier Nation. We are calling on the political parties to: 

  1. Commit to a sustainable and high-quality NHS for the future. This must balance the best interests of patients, with value for public money and fidelity to the core principles of the NHS. 
  2. Recognise that any changes to the NHS must be underpinned by rigorous, independent evidence, anticipating and adapting to the future needs of our population.  
  3. Provide patient services that are shaped around patients' needs and expectations, integrating care pathways, while leaving the NHS and social care free from further wasteful organisational restructuring.

Do you think the NHS is sustainable in its current form?  What are the biggest threats to the sustainability? What would you like see politicians do to ensure the NHS is sustainable? Tell us what you think.

For more information visit our 'Four steps to a healthier nation' webpages.

7 replies

  • De-politicise the NHS ASAP. Stop "reforming" it every political cycle. Remove the statutory pressure on commissioners to tender competitively. Allow rational and pragmatic management structures and providing partnerships to arise diminishing the purchaser provider split to suit localities and regions and ensure better uniformity of funding and provision across localities.

  • Not sections in the Manifesto focused either on stopping and reversing highly destructive and systematic privatisation or removing the NHS from the transatlantic trade and investment partnership. The BMA appears to covertly goes along with such policies and more and more of my colleagues recognise the "faint of heart" approach that betrays their values and professionalism.

  • In reply to Philip Ernest Reinhardt Schuppler:

    I would like the BMA to specifically call for the Repeal of the Health and Social Care Act, this is policy but I can't see it in the manifesto. I have copied and pasted the proposed manifesto from the email I received, I am hoping that I am posting in the correct place, as the post from the Communities Manager which begins this thread is not the same as Mark Porter's, which are:

    "Work in partnership with doctors to ensure the future of the NHS: International research has shown that NHS services lead the world in their quality and value for money. But the service has been damaged by needless, wasteful reorganisation and an over-emphasis on marketisation, while spending has lagged behind healthcare costs.  

    Support our world-class medical workforce: Doctors have consistently shown they can innovate and develop services, but we need the right environment in which to do this. A focus on high-quality, safe care, fair working conditions and terms for doctors, high-quality training and continuing professional development are all essential.

    Improve the health of the public: The government has a responsibility not only to provide a health service, but also to support people to make healthier choices. Decisive, measurable action is needed to tackle the considerable harm caused by tobacco, alcohol and poor diet.

    Assure quality and safety of patient care:  We must never forget the unacceptable failures in patient care highlighted in recent years by events at Winterbourne View and Mid Staffordshire. A new government must foster an open and supportive environment in which doctors and other healthcare professionals feel able to raise concerns about patient care without fear of reprisal."

  • The country (the government)  has to decide what it values, and what it can do without.

    For example, a civilized nation at a minimum might prioritize and adequately fund urgent and emergency care, effective cancer treatment, the care of minors and the treatment of mental illness for those agencies prepared to provide these services. This funding should be guaranteed. The UK falls quite a way short of this.

    Providing there is a rump of money left after this, equitable and transparent competition for any other medical services would probably work.

    We are told so often that we cannot afford the NHS. I wonder whether we can afford not to have an NHS. A prudent government might calculate how much money is saved for UK plc by the NHS say when fixing an ankle fracture or curing a gastric ulcer in a 24 y unskilled manual labourer.

  • In reply to Daniel Richard Malachy Redfern:

    The NHS as it stands is being pushed into a manufactured crisis to force a major change. This has been systematic and many of us working in the frontline have seen it coming.

    Look at all the data showing how cost effective and excellent in quality we have been when compared to the rest of the developed world. Build on that success rather than bring in the Kings Fund and the like to promote unworkable "visions".

    We are not being listened to, I read warning after warning by the profession followed by the same dishonest manifestos and responses. The media is used to mislead the population who are actually very supportive of the NHS. The BMA must continue campaigning to retain public support and the best opportunity to influence is in the lead up to an election. But ultimately the best solution will be distancing the NHS from politicians.

  • In reply to Jeanine Elizabeth Smirl:

    Fragmented care is highly costly. Commercial interests lead to care fragmentation and drive up costs.

    I would also like the BMA to specifically call for the Repeal of the Health and Social Care Act.

  • In reply to Jeanine Elizabeth Smirl:

    Fragmented care is highly costly. Commercial interests lead to care fragmentation and drive up costs.

    I would also like the BMA to specifically call for the Repeal of the Health and Social Care Act.