Ask any Brit to name something the UK can be proud of, and more people than not will mention the NHS. Since it’s inception by Aneurin Bevan in 1948, the NHS has consistently provided top-level, universal healthcare to all-comers and is truly one of the country’s finest institutions.

Of course, it’s not without its faults; far from it in fact. The health service finds itself under-resourced, overstretched and scurrying around for funds as it looks to the future – so what is the outlook for the NHS and the rest of UK healthcare for the coming years?

The Brexit Debacle

One of the biggest problems facing the healthcare industry’s immediate future is the ongoing uncertainty around Brexit. Of course, any speculation at this stage is just that, but the implications of any form of a departure from the EU are set to have a negative impact on healthcare.

The departure of the UK from the single market and customs union and the end of freedom of movement, for example, would create problems particularly for the NHS across staffing, trading relationships and future funding – which in turn could cause disruption to the affordability and supply of drugs and medical supplies.

The potential problems ahead are well laid out by The King’s Fund and, despite positive funding news in 2018, it looks as though Brexit will take its toll on healthcare in a number of key areas.

Patient Experience

As with any good service, consumer satisfaction is paramount, and there’s plenty of advancements on the horizon with patient experience in mind.

Improvements to patient flow software will boost clinical safety, reduce pressure on staff workloads and create an overall quicker, more efficient and better managed patient journey from start to finish.

Expect better, more dynamic doctor-patient connectivity thanks to the rise of smart technology, with intelligent ‘care hubs’ set to enable doctors to manage their patients from afar, simply by monitoring detailed data provided by various smart-tech devices.

Medical Miracles to Come?

Just as today we have managed to virtually eradicate diseases that were peak medical concerns of the past, future developments mean we could see the back of some of today’s bigger killers, as well as much better prognoses for others.

According to the Telegraph, cures could be on the way for diabetes, asthma and some lung cancers, with new methods of preventing and treating heart disease to look forward to. Getting a little more techie, advancements in nanomedicines could help cure blindness and transform chemotherapy treatments, with the survival rate on all cancers rising to three in four within the next 20 years.

Naturally, some of the problems and solutions mentioned above are further away than others. Indeed, healthcare’s first concern will be to weather the Brexit storm before looking forward to some of the more exciting technological advancements.

Some safe assumptions to make, however: technology will continue to improve patient experience, you will see cures to diseases that you would have thought impossible and the NHS will stay strong in championing Britain’s globally admired healthcare system.

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