National Health Service, or the NHS, is the healthcare system currently prevalent within the United Kingdom. The NHS provides free comprehensive healthcare to all citizens of the UK. And, it serves as an end to end healthcare system. While the history of the NHS goes back more than half a century, in recent times the organization has been struggling to provide quality healthcare and maintain its operational standards.
Presented below is the pestle analysis of the NHS to analyze the political, economic, socio-cultural, technological, environmental, and legal aspects that affect the NHS as of now. This will allow readers to have an in-depth view of the organization and its current functioning.
Like all other organizations within the UK, the NHS is also set to be severely affected by the Brexit. Being a public institution, a separation from the European Union will have deep impacts on its functional capacity. While we cannot concretely state the impacts, the Brexit will have on the NHS, many political and economic experts have shared their thoughts on the matter.
One of the primary issues at hand is the lack of resources. They are shipping many medicines and medical equipment to the UK from various parts of the EU. This will surely disrupt the trades once the Brexit takes place; they will have to deal with an acute lack of important medication. Another important factor will be the lack of personnel. A huge portion of the NHS workforce originated from outside the UK. Following Brexit, there will be cut in this constant supply of skilled workers. and the NHS will face a scarcity of staff.
Ever since the 2008 economic crash, the NHS has been facing multiple difficulties. Moreover, the entire UK felt the effects of this economic fallout and various industries have not been able to maintain their standard. The same stands true for the NHS. Due to both – lack of resources and various economic regulations, the NHS was under pressure to reduce the salaries of its staff. As a result, a huge portion of the NHS staff resigned and less skillful personnel replaced them. While the economic crash occurred a decade back, its effects can be acutely felt within the NHS as it fails to operate at the same level.
Furthermore, the UK government established certain austerity measures to deal with this economic crash. One of these measures included undercutting the budget of various public institutions. And while there was no direct effect on the budget of the NHS, many of these austerity measures indirectly affected the NHS. The organization was already faced with economic burdens due to the crash, and the austerity measures were added on top of that.
The average age of the UK population is increasing at a rapid rate. This is a global phenomenon due to the difference in the population of the various generations. And with growing age comes increasing health problems. The levels of Diabetes and Cancer are constantly increasing as these diseases also have to do with old age. This has led to added pressure on the NHS and in its current state, it has become extremely difficult for the organization to provide quality treatment to the growing number of cases.
Another socio-cultural factor affecting the NHS is the growth of patient knowledge. Patients are now more informed about the nuances of the healthcare system and how it operates. As a result, the expectation from NHS is to serve the highest quality of healthcare by patients. However, it is unable to provide such services under current conditions.
The overall technological improvements in healthcare have led to a huge change in the quality of services provided by the NHS. Modern machinery such as complex scanning systems and other tools have become a staple at all hospitals across the UK. The NHS has been able to use these technological advancements to provide quality and speedy healthcare to all its patients.
This advent in technology has also led to the betterment of the medical education system. This in turn directly benefits the NHS by providing them more skilled staff to operate. While there are still understaffing issues in the NHS, there is hope that with the help of modern medical institutions they will be able to deal with this problem.
Patients who are unhappy with the level of care by the NHS are now taking their grievances on legal platforms. In many cases, it is the patient’s family member who takes the legal recourse as they believe the medical system has been unjust towards the patient. The NHS has also faced many such litigation cases from unhappy patients. This is a new and expensive aspect that the NHS has to deal with. And, this trend of legal recourse against medical institutions is growing across the world.
However, with the development of services through technology and educated staff, the number of patients seeking legal courses can be brought down.
The medical industry is a high contributor to the toxic waste that is accumulating throughout the world. Added to the current crisis situation that our climate is facing, there is heavy pressure on all medical organizations. There is high expectation from them to treat their waste and resources with extreme care. The NHS is also under fire from various environmental activist organizations. They aim to better their waste management systems and not add to this on-going global crisis.
The NHS has taken certain steps to ensure that they cause the least impact through medical waste disposal.
Pestle Analysis of the NHS: Overview
The NHS is currently under pressure from a lot of aspects. The Brexit and the previous economic crash top the list. But there are also other factors that it needs to deal with in order to improve its functional capacity. We expect that with a constant integration of technology and the development of educated doctors, some of these problems can be tackled in the not so distant future.