Can the NHS evolve into a national wellness service – capable of maximising people’s health – rather than just treating us when we get ill? That’s the question at the heart of a visionary document about the future of the NHS by nef and the Young Foundation, which has been published in draft as a prospectus for a major project by both organisations.
Life Begins at 60: What kind of NHS after 2008? by David Boyle, Geoff Mulgan and Rushanara Ali, looks at some of the trends which threaten the principles of the NHS – among them the over-professionalisation of medicine and rising chronic health problems because of diet, stress and other kinds of abuse. Already over 80 per cent of GP consultations are about chronic health problems.
Life begins at 60 begins to map out how the NHS might evolve to better meet the real needs of the people who depend on it.
- It looks at some of the hopeful signs of adaptation – the rise of co-production and community self-help.
- It also charts the rise of new kinds of health organisation – anything from expert patients to Weight Watchers – and the new kind of information systems and signposting the new Wellness Service will need.