Intended for healthcare professionals

Views & Reviews If I Ruled the NHS

We need drones, robots, and autonomous ambulances

BMJ 2015; 350 doi: (Published 26 February 2015) Cite this as: BMJ 2015;350:h987
  1. Mary Church, general practitioner, Glasgow
  1. mvgchurch{at}

The problem with the NHS today is too many patients, not enough staff, and a severe outbreak of “inspectionitis.” While there’s no doubt the running of the service should be handed back to doctors, who—let’s face it—have all the necessary qualifications, brains, arrogance, and a medical degree, what’s needed is a huge injection of drones, robots, and autonomous ambulances.

Take the current crisis in hospital emergency departments. We urgently need a solution. Double decker beds and trolleys should be brought in, halving the bed problem at a stroke, with top deck patients attended to by long armed robots and drones …

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