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Saying goodbye means acknowledging that something is over. No one likes endings and I am no exception.
When I joined Healthcare Leader as a reporter in October 2017, I knew little about the extent of the challenges facing the NHS. As the months went by, I became interested in learning the inner workings of one of the best health systems in the world and soon discovered why the existing operational pressures can sometimes give policymakers a headache.
Looking back over the past year and a bit, I’m truly amazed at how the majority of NHS services have been able to continue delivering a good level of patient care, given the lack of resources, such as staff and funding.
During this time, I witnessed a range of great achievements in the health service, such as the 70th anniversary of the institution, a £20.5bn funding boost – described by former health and social care secretary Jeremy Hunt as ‘historic’ – and a ban on sugary drinks in hospitals.
I also saw an unprecedented demand for accident and emergency services, certain clinical targets being missed and acute staff shortages in NHS trusts.
Looking ahead, I can only hope that NHS England and the Government will do their best to develop a health service that is fit for the future and meets the needs of a growing and ageing population.
The recent publication of the long-awaited 10-year plan for the NHS showed a bold and ambitious commitment from NHS England to radically transform services, with a long list of priorities identified for the next decade.
However, as pointed out by health and social care bodies including NHS Providers, NHS Clinical Commissioners and The King’s Fund, the plan contains a lot of detail. It remains to be seen whether the outlined ambitions will live up to the expectations of NHS staff, healthcare stakeholders and, last but not least, the public.
Every good thing comes to an end but this isn’t really goodbye. Although I won’t be bringing you the latest healthcare policy updates anymore, I’ll be keeping a close eye on the implementation of the changes and, will hopefully, see NHS services thrive for many years to come.
It is said that after every storm comes a rainbow, with the promise of sunshine following the rain. If this applies to the health and social care sectors, then brighter days are ahead.
And when they come, I would feel happy and proud to know that I have played my part in this, however small, by writing about such a wonderful array of professions.
Thank you for reading my pieces.