General Article Coronavirus crisis is a turning point for the NHS – for good or bad we just don’t know yet

Topic Selected: National Health Book Volume: 392
If ever there was a time. John Gomez/Shutterstock

Mark Exworthy, University of Birmingham

It’s hard to imagine anything more transformative for the NHS than the coronavirus crisis. The health and social care system has been making enormous efforts to address the pandemic while the number of deaths continue to rise across the UK. Even now, it is safe to say that 2020 feels like a turning moment in the NHS and beyond.

Our thoughts and efforts may be directed elsewhere at this time but it’s also helpful to take stock of the profound changes that are happening and what these may mean for future health service delivery and policy.

NHS staff

We often consider health services in terms of workforce and organisations. In the past few years, NHS staffing has become a significant issue, including a high turnover of senior staff in recent years. Following Brexit uncertainty and the junior doctor strikes in 2016, the Conservatives were re-elected on the promise of “50,000 more nurses” just th...

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