Without doubt, a lot of things will change as and when we come out of this difficult lockdown situation. The way we shop, the way we travel and even the way we interact with other people and no one can predict whether those changes will be for the better or for the worse.
However, changes to the NHS that are coming will surely be ‘for the better’ and the reason for that is that for the first time in a very long time, there’s a combination of genuine public support matched by Government will and desire. Whether that Government support is real or whether it’s a result of public pressure is open for debate, but the outcome could still be exactly the same either way. The NHS could definitely see benefits from this extremely difficult situation.
First of all you have the £13.4bn of historic debt that’s been written off, which means that hospital trusts will now be able to focus on important healthcare issues and not just balancing the books. The move was welcomed by NHS England, CEO, Sir Simon Stevens as it would help the service not only “respond to the immediate challenges of the global coronavirus pandemic, but also in the years ahead to deliver widespread improvements set out in our NHS Long Term Plan.”
The ability to channel funds into key services rather than debt provision would help any organisation and it will definitely help the NHS Hospital Trusts.
Then there’s the significant exposure and outpouring of support that the NHS has received. Surely this above anything else will heap pressure on a Government to increase pay for NHS staff.
And lastly, will there be a change in attitude toward healthcare being delivered from international NHS staff, particularly nurses? Having recently spoken to some of our international recruits on the front line, it’s clear that they have already seen an increased level of gratitude and positivity towards them personally as nursing professionals.
The outcome of all of this is surely the fact that the NHS is now incredibly well placed to receive the level of support that it rightly deserves, not just by clapping on those Thursday evenings but more importantly financially from central Government.