Let’s imagine you chose the topic of the ageing population.
‘There are a myriad of major challenges facing the NHS in the years to come, across all healthcare areas, both long-term and emerging.
Despite this, I think one of the major challenges in the years to come will be the consequences of an increasing ageing population.
Firstly, this is leading to an increase in lifespan, but not health span, or healthy years and as such patients have an increasing number of diseases and medications to treat them, which makes managing an individual issue more difficult, coupled with a larger number of patients in hospital, potentially leading to sub-optimal care.
Secondly, in the community, the growing demands on the social care system, coupled with the economic side-effects of the pandemic will lead to further strained social care provision. This not only has negative side-effects directly for the elderly, but can lead to increased hospital admissions and a worsening of the first issue I described.
Thirdly, at the level of the health-care system, this shifts the axis of priority toward elderly care whilst other population groups and their healthcare needs have not disappeared and thus may be neglected as resources are directed toward the ageing population.
Whilst other challenges exist, such as the consequences on the pandemic, this issue is ever-present and is only set to worsen over the coming years and effects the healthcare system from the bedside up to NHS England!