The founding principles of the health service must be extended to social care. Otherwise the NHS will be run into the ground
There’s so much of modern life we take for granted, but not the NHS. It has a special place in British hearts, outranking the armed forces and the royal family in what makes us proud to be British. But the NHS is facing two existential tests on its 70th birthday, both of which exert big cost pressures.
Back in the 50s, much of its work involved doling out treatment for one-off illnesses such as pneumonia and tuberculosis. Today, those serious infections are less common and the greatest demands on the NHS come from chronic conditions that people can live with for decades – diabetes, cancer, dementia – some associated with unhealthy lifestyles.