NHS in 2017

With the NHS’s ability to deliver on its founding principles under greater threat than ever, can the service survive? In this new series, Gareth Iacobucci examines the key challenges facing the NHS in 2017 and looks at how the service can overcome them. These challenges are numerous but this series will argue that despite the current pressures, there is life in the NHS yet.

In the first of this series, Gareth Iacobucci examines a service under pressure.

In an accompanying commentary, Sarah Wollaston, MP and chair of the House of Commons health select committee, says that the political response to a health and care system in severe distress has been dismal.

Nearly 70 years since its establishment, the NHS is struggling to care for a vastly changed population. In the second article of his series, Gareth Iacobucci examines how societal trends have affected the health service.

In the third article of his series, Gareth Iacobucci examines how government policies are shaping the NHS, for good and ill.

In a linked commentary, Nicholas Timmins says that looking at NHS funding and policy, the picture is not all doom and gloom, however, he warns that "the crunch is clearly coming, and the tools for tackling it are uncertain."

In the fourth article of the series, Gareth Iacobucci examines what is required of a modern medical workforce and the barriers to change.

In a linked commentary, Jennifer Dixon suggests that training doctors in quality improvement techniques, management, and leadership can ease the strain the NHS is under.

In the last of his series, Gareth Iacobucci looks at what needs to be done to ensure that the NHS can keep up with changing demands.

In a linked commentary, Alan Milburn, former Labour health secretary, outlines five changes that can future proof the care system.

See also The BMJ's infographic explaining UK health and social care funding by Will Stahl-Timmins