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Changes to the NHS you need to know about

changes to the NHS image
The healthcare system is facing huge financial pressures; the demand on health services is rising whilst funding for these services are either being stagnated or reduced.

Here, Fab After Fifty takes a look at some of the recent changes that have happened to the healthcare system and the NHS that have affected those over 50, as well as giving a summary of some of the changes that we could see in the future.

Some recent changes to the healthcare system

A new health and social care regulator

In 2009, a new health and social care regulator, the Care Quality Commission (CQC), was created and aimed to join up regulation for health and social care.

NHS health checks

Also in 2009, another major change to the healthcare system saw the introduction of NHS Health Checks for adults in England between the ages of 40 and 74. This new scheme aimed to reduce the public’s risk of heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and kidney disease.

Buying treatments for patients

In 2013, major changes were made to the NHS when the structure of who was responsible for planning and buying treatments for patients was changed.

In the past, 152 primary care trusts (PCTs) controlled local spending on dentists, hospital operations and tests, and expenditure on medicines, but this changed in 2013 when these PCTs were replaced by 200 GP-led organisations called Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs).

These CCGs are now responsible for around 60 per cent of the NHS budget and every GP surgery belongs to a CCG.

How the NHS is run changed in 2013

In 2013, instead of the health secretary setting policies that were then passed down from the Department of Health to 10 strategic health authorities and then onto PCTs, it was redeveloped so that that the clinical commissioning board took charge of overseeing the NHS from the Department of Health.

The changes that could happen in the future

Smokers and morbidly obese denied routine surgery

According to the BBC, NHS Devon is planning to deny routine surgery to people who are either smokers or morbidly obese.

Patients with a BMI of 35 or over will need to lose weight, whilst smokers will have to quit for eight weeks prior to any surgery.

These measures are likely to encourage people to look after their weight if they need or are considering any type of surgery. Both a change in diet and regular exercise are recommended methods of weight loss; take a look at this easy and healthy recipes guide for some great ideas, and see our post on how to increase your vegetable and fruit intake here.

One hearing aid provided

People who have hearing loss should take note, as another proposal that has been put forward to cut costs is that only one hearing aid, instead of the normal two, should be provided to those with hearing loss.

The creation of specialised services

A report released by NHS England also reveals that specialised services for less common disorders need to be concentrated in centres of excellence.

The reports says, “Specialised services are currently being delivered out of too many sites, with too much variety in quality and at too high a cost in some places.”

This could mean that a handful of specialist centres are created in certain parts of the country and people who require those services would have to travel to these “centres of excellence”.

More daycare cuts

The news back in 2012 that councils will reduce spending on social care is likely to continue over the next few years as the government looks to save more money.

This could see elderly people unable to attend daycare centres and would mean pensioners are less likely to enjoy activities such as lunch club, gentle exercise classes and other social activities that are offered by daycare centres up and down the country.

Image Credit: Phalinn Ooi (flickr.com)



Ceri Wheeldon

Ceri is Founder and Editor of Fabafterfifty.co.uk She is a frequent speaker at events and in the media on topics related to women over 50 , including style and living agelessly. With 20+ years experience as a headhunter Ceri also now helps support those looking to extend their working lives.

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