The future of the NHS and UK healthcare
15th April 2010
The King’s Fund Report ‘How cold will it be? Prospects for the NHS funding 2011-2017” paints a stark picture of the reality facing healthcare in the UK and a possible shortfall in funding of between £4billion and £40 billion. It also talks of a six year period of unprecedented zero growth.
Benenden Healthcare takes their role in the future of UK healthcare provision very seriously. As a UK mutual society with a membership of around 940,000 and over 100 years of heritage, we have delivered over £100 million on healthcare benefits to members in the last two years alone and during an economic recession. We’ve managed a continuous programme of investment into UK healthcare services by upgrading our hospital network, introducing new services and, from 2008, have funded £43 million into the Benenden Hospital Trust – an independent hospital with charitable status, praised by political and industry spokespeople as a shining example and doing terrific work.
We recognise and support the work of the NHS in encouraging UK society to become more proactive in managing and controlling their health, illness and conditions in a way that is cost effective and efficient for healthcare providers. If we are to safeguard the future of the UK’s healthcare services and retain the right of United Kingdom residents to have continued access to NHS GPs, dentists, diagnosis and treatment, then we, just like the NHS, recognise that we need to sculpt the healthcare services we provide to ensure that we remain an influential and adaptive force in UK healthcare
A patient’s proactive responsibility for their healthcare is a trend that will continue and as a healthcare provider we have a responsibility to ensure that our members receive open, honest, accurate and transparent information that helps them to make the right choices when managing their health and wellbeing. That’s why we offer a menu of services that complement the strengths of the NHS and why we offer a choice of UK hospitals for our members to use, including the flagship Benenden Hospital.
As a healthcare provider, we believe that we will be called upon to provide a more holistic approach to supporting the health of members and patients. Access to healthcare is one thing, but safeguarding the future of healthcare is another. That’s why, at the heart of our strategy, is the vision of Benenden Healthcare becoming the leading health and wellbeing mutual organisation in the UK. We believe that we can continue to translate our cost effective business model into an operational healthcare strategy that will help our members, their family and friends have access to affordable UK healthcare services, thus having the potential to deliver healthcare to over 6million UK residents.