It’s time to think big
We are not tinkers who merely patch and mend what is broken… we must be watchmen, guardians of the life and health of our generation, so that stronger and more able generations may come after. Dr Elizabeth Blackwell (1821–1910) the first woman doctor
Blowing into the NHS are three icy fronts that threaten a perfect storm: co-dependency on Big Pharma, the deepening bites of austerity cuts, and the care needs of an aging population. As a consequence of these three, and in particular the need to rein the health budget in, privatisation and industrialisation are stifling a healthcare culture once led by values rather than costs. In the thick of it NHS staff at all levels, from CEO to care assistant, are urged to do more (and better) with less. When this doesn’t work, staff high and low in the system get the blame, the more so when stress-related fallout follows: poor practice, patient complaints, absenteeism and early retirement.