"The NHS is extraordinary" but coronavirus has exposed room to improve

5 July 2020, 12:32

By Seán Hickey

The coronavirus pandemic has shown many ways that the NHS could improve amid the 72nd birthday of the service.

Penny phoned Iain Dale from Streatham while the discussion centred around the NHS' 72nd birthday. The caller told listeners that she has vast experience within the NHS, telling Iain that she had worked as a policy advisor in the Department of Health, among other roles within the health service.

The conversation centred around how the NHS can improve in the future, where Iain posed the idea to Penny that "the crisis has actually enabled the NHS to look at different ways of operating."

The caller believed that one of the main things the service can adapt in future is online consultations. Penny said that "there are cases when you need an assessment face-to-face but there is a lot that can be solved by telemedicine."

She went on to tell Iain that "the NHS is quite extraordinary" but there are many examples of people who "don't value it quite as much" and sometimes abuse it.

Today marks the 72nd birthday of the NHS
Today marks the 72nd birthday of the NHS. Picture: PA

"There are improvements we can make through the simple point of access" Penny said. She argued that a particular instance where the service is abused is people visiting A&E to be seen by a medical professional.

She told Iain that there are "so many people that don't need to be there but are there because they cannot see their GP" because of long waiting times and appointments being weeks in the waiting.

Penny also told Iain that she would like to see doctors "visiting people in their homes again" which would alleviate a lot of stress on frontline workers in hospitals.

She argued that so many cases of vulnerable people refused home care lead to unnecessary hospital journeys where more serious health issues can be contracted.

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