Lancet Commission on the Future of the UK’s NHS

I would like to thank the Lancet for giving me the opportunity to contribute to their Commission on the Future of the NHS. I fully support the recommendation for a strong and sustained increase in NHS funding to address the current weaknesses in the NHS. For me, the most striking data in the Lancet Commission on the Future of the NHS was this figure, taken from Securing a sustainable and fit-for-purpose UK health and care workforce, showing the changes in the number of NHS GPs and consultants per 1,000 people between 2008-18. Note the decline in GP numbers compared to the increase in consultant numbers. Although we hear a lot from NHS managers and politicians about the need to shift the focus of the NHS to the community, staffing statistics do not support this. The reality is that NHS primary care funding and workload need to reflect staff levels, not meaningless rhetoric.

Figure: Numbers of GPs and hospital consultants across the UK per 1000 people, 2008–18

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