The National Health Service explained | Guardian Explainers

the National Health Service has been called the closest thing the British have to a religion ever since its creation in 1948 it's held a special place in the national psyche and right from the beginning its workforce has been drawn from all over the world the one thing most non Brits know about the NHS is that it's free so if you visit the doctor it's free if you need an operation it's free having a baby is free parking at the hospitals actually they charge you for parking at the hospital but if you get hit by a car and need to go to a hospital by ambulance it's free while the NHS may be free to use it's not actually free next year's health budget will be something like 140 billion pounds the total cost works out to about two thousand pounds per year per person which sounds a lot that's actually quite low by international standards in the US for example per capita healthcare spending is more than double that the NHS may be one of the most efficient health services in the world but it's also a sprawling entity uk-wide there is a baffling array of NHS bodies over 500 clinical commissioning groups health boards and hospital trusts about 8,000 GP surgeries plus the voluntary sector private providers and others it also has numerous separate bodies for regulation trading good strategy ooh where was it if that sounds like a system sorely in need to perform that is the reformed version the product of the 2012 Act of Parliament designed to give much more power to doctors and deciding how the money gets spent in fact the whole history of the NHS is a series of compromises between politicians and doctors when the Labour government first created the NHS in 1948 it was in the face of bitter opposition from the doctors trade union British Medical Association one leading member of the BMA at the time said the NHS was the first step and a big one towards national socialism and called the Health Minister Aneurin Bevan a medical Fuhrer move forward to the present day doctors are barely more polite about their political paymasters the current Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has found his names become unfortunately for him rhyming slang prefer to give them a 1% but if NHS history has been politically turbulent it has also been packed with clinical advances in 1958 polio and diphtheria vaccinations were rolled out nationally drastically reducing deaths from these illnesses in the 1960s the contraceptive pill was given first to married women then all women who wanted it 1978 saw the world's first test-tube baby being born 1979 the first UK heart transplant the 1980s saw pioneering use of keyhole surgery and in 2002 the first gene therapy but with glorious successes there have also been terrible failures in 2013 a report in to appalling patient neglected Stafford Hospital identified hundreds of vulnerable people who suffered at the hands of staff and called for a culture change in the NHS patients the report said were let down by a system that put cost-cutting and target chasing ahead of the quality of care winter brings the services biggest challenges seasonal colds and flus can endanger the already sick staffing is stretched and most non hospital services closed for the holidays hospital bed shortages are commonplace in winter despite these challenges the NHS mostly works and its founding principle remains a point of pride universal health care free at the point of use I was really bad through middle school I was so bad then Rosie Cardenas saw me and they're like oh he's a bad kid I want him


  1. THE

  2. Its not free…. we pay taxes…how is it free?

  3. Too many non-productive pen-pushers with their name tags around their necks, sat around in meeting after meeting, discussing future meetings.

  4. Bevan, what a man,

  5. Proud of the NHS!

  6. Welfare State was a bribe in UK so we would not turn commie or fascist. These threats are gone now and so will the Welfare State vanish unless we fight.

  7. Not too surprising that this GUARDIAN video doesn't mention the opposition of a certain newspaper called THE GUARDIAN to the formation of the NHS. Among the reasons against an NHS put forward by THE GUARDIAN was poor people and those unfortunate enough to be born with congenital illnesses who should "die off naturally" would survive longer and thus be more likely to breed. Has THE GUARDIAN changed its outlook? Not really – although it now claims to be a beacon of light protecting the NHS it's still a middle-class rag that despises the British working class – especially when they get too uppitty.

  8. Psychopaths steal your money and give you a benefit that you may or may not want and you're supposed to be grateful, what else is there to know.

  9. Some folk, more contentious than me, have said that the problems facing the NHS and accelerating social care costs, are of their own making. Rather than improving the health of the population, they have kept people alive with chronic conditions for astonishing amounts of time. Folk are living an average of 17.3 years with chronic conditions, from which they could not have survived barely a generation ago. Not me! I hate facts. My LIVING WILL declares that I will end my life when I can't do 25 press-ups. I anticipate that I have 13.7 years left. Life is so over-rated.

  10. The NHS would be better off under a mixed healthcare system like France and Australia.


  11. So long

  12. The NHS has become a third rate service. That is caused by the huge numbers of foreigners both patients and doctors. I was in a Casualty Department with only two doctors on duty both foreign, both muslim. The Xray technicians were also muslim. Despite muslim patients being in the minority, they were seen first.

  13. Before anyone tries to tell you that there is no patient choice in the U.K. remember that the UK also has private doctors and hospitals. They have more choice than in the US … you can choose free health care in the UK and 99% do so for general GP service though 10% have some private insurance for elective surgery in private hospitals, sometimes thru their employer benefits. Private hospitals have fish tanks and carpets, but otherwise the care is similar.

  14. NHS is free because it is absolute rubbish that why it's free :))

  15. It's FREE!?

    hahahahahaha is that teachers get paid off in order for you to pay for it?
    Is that why inflation goes up in order to pay for it?
    Is that why there are fewer college and university placements in order to pay for it?

    That's your idea of FREE!?

    You really don't understand basic economics hahahahahahaha! how embarrassing hahahahahaha!

  16. Oh crap, stupid vaccers again. Thanks for the upload!!Very informative!!!!

  17. Universal health care!? OH THE SOCIALIST HORROR!

  18. As a US citizen resident in England for 15 years, I have found the physical healthcare in the UK to be generally very good. Something, however, must be done about the appalling lack of resources given to mental health care services, especially those for children and young people. I am beginning to think that there is something in the British psyche that doesn't want to be enlightened about mental/neurological conditions.

  19. The British NHS may have its flaws, just like every governmental services, but compared to the healthcare system of many others, the UK should be very proud of its health service.

  20. And because of the NHS, a lot of us from other nationals adopted the service to benefit our people. Free welfare is good welfare.

  21. Closest thing Britain has to religion? Except the NHS is actually tangible and I can see it's effects. The NHS has done more for me than Jesus ever did! He died for my sins but he'd never bother to fix my ailments.

  22. I'm glad videos like these exist. I'm in sixth form and haven't learnt a lot/anything about these issues.

  23. One of many things the Uk has to be completely proud of

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