NHS today is considered as a back bone of the health industry that is the publicly funded to all the citizens in the United Kingdom. NHS today is major government organization publicly funded by taxation from citizens that was set up to provide a low-cost healthcare to the residents of the U.K. In this assignment, we will discuss the history of the health care system prior to setting up a NHS how it was formed and what are the important factors that involved in to the efficient care to the public.
In 18th and 19th century, major industrial revolution took place in the United Kingdom which led to growth of many British cities. The rising number of factories, industries and economy led to the increase of population growth in city areas. The Lack of proper sewage control system and lack of proper sanitation system led to people living in poor conditions resulting to growth of epidemics like cholera, tuberculosis, typhus and typhoid fever within working class families.
During 1842, Edwin Chadwick published his report challenging the government where he urged local council to be responsible for clearing garbage, improving sewage system and providing clean water system. However, it was Sir William Beveridge who published a report in 1946 highlighting the 5 major issues in social system as 5Giant Evil as Want, Disease, Squalor, Ignorance and Idleness. The report was aimed to provide better quality system of social insurance from ‘cradle to grave’. The report showed a greater need for an active role by the government for the welfare of its public through better housing, education, benefits for unemployed and better health services. As a result to Sir Beveridge’s report there was a major change in social and health sector which resulted in beginning of National Health Service.
National Health Service (NHS) was officially opened in 5th July 1948. It was launched with the opening of Park Hospital in Manchester. It was opened with an aim to provide quality and good health care to everyone including rich and poor. It was launched with the three core principles values i.e. it meets needs for everyone, free for everyone and available for everyone. It brought all the doctors, nurses, ambulance staff and all the health service staffs under one roof. Over the past years, there has been a huge improvements done by NHS such as Britain’s first heart transplant in 1968, CT- scan revolution in 1972, introducing 3 dimensional images and x-rays and introducing the Breast screening units in 1988 (www.nhs.uk). In the past when the Britain was going through huge socio-economic changes there were many issues in the public health. (www.nhs.uk)
Furthermore, different legislations has helped NHS to function more effectively and provide better services to its public. Legislation helps in regulating, authorizing and in controlling and decisions of any organization. There are many legislations acts under which NHS works. Some of the acts are Equality Act 2010, Care Act 2014, and Medicine Act 1968.Equality Act 2010 mainly focuses on protecting the individual and prevents discrimination or any unfair treatment towards people under personal characteristics. It mainly covers 9 characteristics such as age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, sex, religion and sexual orientation. This act provides equal rights and promotes equality amongst staffs and patients within NHS. This promotes harmony, equal treatments and equal rights to everyone making NHS safer and secure for everyone. (www.gov.uk). Care act 2014 works towards improving wellbeing and the independence of people. Under this act local authorities must work towards providing better care support to the community identifying people who need care and finding the qualified carers to people who need care. It also provides information about care finances as well as researching new ideas to providing better care facility in future. With establishment of this act, NHS been able to follow a clear guideline on providing better and effective care to people who need this service and also recruit staff and volunteers and train them to provide better care. The Medicine Act 1968 controls the process of distribution and sale and supply of medicines for human and veterinary use. Under this act medicines can only be sold under the supervision of pharmacist or if prescribed by the doctors or health care professionals only. However there are general sales list medicines like paracitamol and ibuprofen which can be sold in shops or convenience stores. These medicines are generally in smaller packs or lower strength in medicines. There are other products government has classified as a borderline medical products like food supplements, herbal products or cosmetics which don’t necessarily need prescriptions and don’t come under same regulation. This act has helped in preventing over use and illegal use of drugs. (www.nhs.uk)
NHS Constitution came from the recommendation from Lord Darzi’s report entitled as ‘High Quality care for all”. It was published on 21 January 2009. The constitution focuses on providing the highest quality of care and services for the people. It mainly emphasises on the belief that NHS belongs to the people. It was established with the view to work together with public, communities and staff who work for it. The NHS Constitution was established with the basic moral value that NHS is to, for and by the public. It will provide efficient services working with the organizational value providing highest standards of excellence and professionalism. (www.gov.uk).
NMC Code was established as United Kingdom Central Council for Nursing, Midwives and Health Visiting (UKCC) in 1983 under the act Nursing Registration Act 1919. However in 2002, it was changed into Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC). Its main function is to provide registration of nurses, midwives and provides guidance and trainings. NMC Code works as framework set for the registered health care workers which nurses and midwives should maintain. All UK nurses, midwives and health care workers must act under the NMC code while providing the best quality services to the public. NMC code is based on 4Ps Prioritising People, by treating people with respect and dignity. Practice Effectively, by sharing knowledge skills and maintaining the effective communication .Preserve Safety enables them to act on an emergency situation without any delays for patients’ safety, and Promote Professionalism and Trust by acting as a role model and displaying the best professional front at all time. (www.nmc.org.uk) NMC Code is the focused on the safety of the public by providing efficient training to the nurses and midwives.
The 6Cs is the core value that’s all nursing, midwifery staffs and care providers should act upon. It provides frame work and guideline for all the Nurses to provide efficient care. Initially, it was introduced as 5 C’s of caring by Sister Simone Roach in 1987. The 5Cs included Commitment, Conscience, Competence, Compassion and Confidence. Later it was introduced as a 6Cs by NHS England chief nursing officer Jane Cummings in December 2012. The 6Cs include Care, Compassion, Competence, Communication, Courage and Commitment. Care is the main core value of 6cs where, nurses are expected to deliver excellent care contributing to patients’ good health. Compassion is care is provided through respect, empathy and dignity to patient. Competence is care provided through clinical and technical knowledge. Effective communication is essential between staff member and patients to provide better care. Courage is an act which enable nurses to speak up and make correct decision for the person they care for. Commitment is act of dedication of care shown towards the patient. (Ref: – www.rcni.com)
Ethics is the basic moral values and principles which results to how we act or behave. In health care environment ethics involves treating people with dignity, providing respect to people, treating people safely. Nurses are faced with various and situations in daily basis, so they should be able to make a decisions in a best possible way should be accountable to their decisions. The 4 key rules of ethics include autonomy, beneficence, non-maleficence and justice.
Reflective Practice is a process where you think about your actions, consciously think and analyse your decision making and draw conclusion and make necessary changes in your practice. It is a critical thinking process of your action and make a plan to improve in future. This practice involves in thinking what happened, what did I do? How did it happen and what could be done and what will I do in future. Reflective practice has contributed to the development of value required for the health care professionals as there are many oncoming situations where health care staffs need to think and re-evaluate their performances. In health care sector reflective practice plays an essential role. In health care, there are many uncalled events so the reflective practice helps in learning through evaluation of exercise. I also helps in providing learning opportunities and provides better practice and make use of knowledge available.