The coronavirus pandemic is now dealing with a significant blow on the NHS. Every patient will demand acute care services, which may prove quite overwhelming for them to handle. The government is trying its best to increase resources to provide the necessary health requirements for the patients. The article attempts to give real insights into how NHS handled Covid-19 and how they can cope with the pandemic. It will then highlight the overall impact of Covid-19 on NHS and anything that can be done to gap future results. With ramifications of Brexit looming large on the future horizon, let’s take a look at how NHS is coping with the pandemic.
An Overview of the National Health Service and How They Work?
National Health Service in the UK-based health service that receives funding from the national government. It is a medical and health care service that benefits the UK residents since they only pay small amounts rather than the service’s full cost. It will be interesting to learn how NHS handled Covid-19 cases, considering the way it was overwhelming!
Notably, the leading services that the NHS deals with includes:
- Offering urgent health care from health professionals
- Pregnant women can see a midwife.
- When you get an injury or start feeling unwell, you can depend on the NHS for help.
The services are often free because the doctor can diagnose you, and you won’t have to pay any fee. The healthcare service is publicly-funded through the UK tax system, where it affects the UK residents. The NHS’s responsibility is now growing, which has enabled it to be passed to other nations such as Scotland, whales, England, and Northern Ireland.
The National Health Service is now the leading health service provider handling over 1 million patients every 36 hours. Its launching dates back to 1948 and is now the most prominent publicly-funded health service provider. The NHS strives to offer affordable health care services to everyone without considering the wealth that you own. It is free at the point of use for everyone except for some specific health care services; optical and dental benefits.
Can the NHS Cope with The Coronavirus Crisis?
A lot needs to be put in place for the NHS to cope with the Coronavirus pandemic. It is essential to realize that the Coronavirus pandemic can spread, and there is great potential that it can affect anyone who doesn’t follow the WHO health guidelines. Covid19 needs intensive care units, which now prove to be a significant challenge to the NHS. The NHS reports are not that pleasing. It is, therefore, necessitating the need for the NHS to plan earlier. They need to control the pandemic from the roots rather than prepare for the UK population to get sick.
UK has very few ICU beds, where research shows that they are far much lower than what France and Germany have. The UK government reports that they are ready for 80% of the population to get the sickness, but they hope that the critical cases won’t go beyond 5%. The ratio of ICU beds to acute patients is 2.1 for 1000 people.
Coronavirus patients will indeed need ventilators at some point. The NHS has 5000 ventilators, which also proves to be insufficient instances of the surge in a pandemic. NHS is actively increasing the number of ventilators, but more will be necessary to meet the demand by growing patients.
So, it will not be possible to say that the NHS can cope with the pandemic. They can only do this if they will mobilize people at grassroots levels not to acquire the disease. If they can gap it from spreading, then the available resources will be sufficient for already sick patients.
The Wider Impacts of Coronavirus Pandemic on the NHS
The Coronavirus pandemic is posing significant challenges to the NHS in management. Indeed, responsible professionals are also not immune to the disorder.
- First, NHS is now working tirelessly to increase the resources that will help gap the malady. The NHS had to re-organize the existing facilities while redeploying new facilities to suit the disease’s treatment.
- The NHS is also working harder to ensure that they have sufficient personnel to handle the coronavirus cases. They are now redeploying the nurses to various facilities while employing new staff to take the nursing cases.
- The NHS is also facing heavy knock-ons on non-Covid-19 patients because most supplies now target the Coronavirus pandemic. It is significantly impacting o healthcare delivery in the short and long term.
- The NHS is now pondering on successful ways to gap the spread. Gaping the spread is essential considering the UK population, which susceptible to the Coronavirus pandemic due to old age.
- The NHS has significantly reduced Non-Covid patients’ resources, meaning that other patients may have a greater risk.
- Many NHS doctors are now taking leave for self-isolation because of the Covid-19. The fact that nurses and doctors are at risk poses further challenges to NHS even as they strive to increase the number of staff.
Coronavirus Treatment Approved By NHS
NHS is at the forefront in looking for coronavirus medication. There is now a success story on how NHS handled covid-19 since they have approved a drug that will ensure that the covid-19 cases reduce. Many lives will benefit from the UK government’s decision to support Dexamethasone’s use to reduce the risk of death from the Covid-19.
The drug is the best anti-inflammatory drug, which is now the leading treatment for covid-19 patients in UK hospitals. The science behind the medicine suggests that it can reduce the risk of death by 35% for patients who need ventilators and 20% for those in need of oxygen, making it an average of 17% for a 28-day mortality rate.
The Oxford University UK RECOVERY trial is now the pioneer in showing how the drug functions to reduce coronavirus’s impact. The government is now at the forefront in ensuring Dexamethasone’s constant supplies in the UK. It ensures that it meets the demand for all patients in a surge in the covid-19 cases.
The NHS can now meet its people’s needs considering that they now have a drug that will significantly reduce the causes of mortalities while ensuring that all the patients get the best health care services.
Lessons Gained by NHS While Handling Covid-19
The Covid-19 pandemic has passed lots of lessons to NHS.
- First, the NHS needs to streamline the procurement policy, considering that the nurses and doctors were facing shortages in PPE supplies. They had to re-use and share masks, which shows a significant shortcoming in the procurement and supply process. It will also be worth acknowledging how they did a great job in supplying what the patients needed, though they sometimes forget their staff.
- The NHS should handle cases about suppliers. They can indeed attract many suppliers, but they can still do well with a smaller number of suppliers, especially the young SMEs, which always falls under the procurement framework.
- The NHS also needs to increase the way they handle supplies to meet demands. They indeed manage to do it, but the procurement system was too slow. There were sufficient facilities, but the doctors and nurses had to share the PPEs. It was due to the processes that delayed the supplies to arrive at the facilities.
- The procurement system was too rigid, and they could not just adjust to the situations. The procurement system had to relax some of their rules, especially in times of pandemic. Relaxing the rules helps them to meet patients’ and staff’s demands.
All these issues which the NHS experienced in their procurement system were excellent lessons. Importantly, they can correct shortly, especially in pandemics.
Tips for NHS
- NHS needs to standardize the frameworks and the working processes of the procurement systems. They should not rely majorly on their primary buildings, but they can adjust to other privately owned places.
- The NHS can also increase their efficiency by appointing a minister of government efficiency. The minister will then discharge the roles of reviewing the public sector procurement processes. They will also be responsible for driving reforms across all NHS departments.
Considering How NHS handled Covid-19 cases, it is evident that the procurement system is doing well. They only need to boost it, especially in crisis times. The NHS demonstrated great flexibility in start-ups, though they had to handle cases where there was a vast stockpiling. They need to come up with a set of rules and systems put in place to work during the pandemic era.
To conclude, the National Health Service in the UK is doing well when it comes to health provisions for UK citizens. The NHS is an excellent service provider, especially during the pandemic season.
They had to tackle many issues that came on their way despite it being very challenging. The NHS needs to learn from the challenges they face to boost their future services, especially if any severe pandemic like coronavirus shall arise. How NHS handled Covid-19 might be subjective to individuals, but overall they are getting good enough results.