Staff shortages, waiting times and more nurses leaving the profession than ever before, it’s clear the NHS is under a lot of pressure. In particular areas such as, emergency departments and GP services, seem to be suffering

Take a look at some of the main challenges facing the NHS:

Source – My health London NHS

Ageing population:

Due to medical advances diseases that would have killed someone 65 years ago, have been cured, meaning people are now living longer. Often with ‘one or more illnesses’ which require ongoing treatment and specialist care.

Lifestyle factors:

Increased alcohol consumption, smoking, poor diet and not enough exercise are all major reasons for becoming unwell. This problem is set to continue with an increase in the number of overweight children, reports claim.

Public expectations:

With the public expecting so much more from the NHS, including mental health and social care services, contraception and vaccinations, services face high expectations from the public.

A&E departments

Emergency department’s ability to cope under pressure has increased in recent years. With targets increasing and with more people visiting A&E and attending minor injury departments. Although most visits can’t be helped, many are because people are unable to get a GP appointment.


My health London said: “It is estimated that without radical changes to the way the system works, as demand rises, and costs rise too, the NHS will become unsustainable, with huge financial pressures and debts. If we make no changes we face a £30 billion funding gap for the NHS nationally by 2020.”

What is the government doing to approach these challenges?

Theresa May has pledged to inject an extra £8 billion by 2020, ‘which is the minimum amount NHS will need in order to survive’ according to Simon Stevens, NHS England boss.


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