Since the introduction of the National Health Service during the first parliamentary term following the Second World War, it has become an almost universally cherished institution amongst the British population. Unlike many other areas of policy, the NHS seems to be widely supported by most if not all politicians, regardless of the party they represent. This is due in no small part to how valued it is by the British public, who simply do not want to revert to a system where free care at the point of need is not a given for every British citizen. However, perhaps due to the overwhelming pride and loyalty to the NHS held by the population, a large percentage of the country is in denial about the challenges faced by the NHS in its current state.
Poor Levels Of Care In Certain Hospitals
Many people, both in positions of authority and in the public at large, are in denial about just how serious the state of care is in certain of the UK’s hospitals. Dire statistics have been revealed which have shown that, at certain hospitals such as Stafford Hospital, over one thousand NHS patients died unnecessarily due to unsatisfactory levels of care being provided. Although the level of care in the National Health Service is generally of a pretty high standard, there are some hospitals which have extremely poor records of care and, more broadly, certain aspects of NHS care carried out across the country, which are not up to standard.
Strong Support And Suspicion of Change
One of the biggest roadblocks to improving the National Health Service and equipping it adequately to deal with the challenges of public health care in the twenty-first century, is collective denial by the public that anything particularly needs to change. The public has been strongly suspicious of the attempted introduction of wholesale changes from any government. There is a real worry amongst the populace that changes are a step towards privatisation through the backdoor. Furthermore, public pride and confidence in the NHS is still high, which causes negative information about the service to largely be overlooked.
In summary, beyond criticising quangos and excessive layers of management, the British public often seem reluctant to criticise the NHS and how it handles all aspects of healthcare. This state of “denial” negatively affects the analysis of problems within the NHS and hinders attempts to correct them.