The NHS came into existence in an atmosphere of conflict centred on the strong ideological commitment of the Post-war Labour Government and the opposition of the Conservative Party of that time to the idea of a universally available and centrally planned medical care service. There was also opposition from some sections of the medical establishment who feared the loss of professional autonomy.
Setting health policy in both an historical and modern context (post 1997) Carrier and Kendall weigh up the successes and failures of the National Health Service and examine the conflicts which have continued for over sixty years, in spite of efforts to solve financial problems in the NHS through increases in funding as well as structural and organisational change.
After looking at recent responses to supposed failures of the NHS, they conclude that the NHS has successfully faced the challenges before it and is likely to continue to meet the changing health needs of the population. Financial stresses, concerns about the quality of care and demographic change, with consequent issues for the elderly and the chronically ill, continue to be urgent and politically contentious issues.
This book is appropriate for a wide range of undergraduate and postgraduate students studying health policy and the NHS.