The National Health Service (NHS) oversees health services in England, and under that government’s direction sets strategic objectives for the health care system as a whole. The other constituent countries of the United Kingdom (UK) – Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland – similarly have their own public-health agency each. Any UK resident may obtain health services through any of these independent organizations – either for free or at a much lower price than through a private provider.
Last year, NHS celebrated its 70th anniversary. The milestone prompted a national conversation about the role and future of that organization. In part in response to that debate, the agency prepared and recently released “The NHS Long Term Plan,” outlining its vision for servicing public health in the next decade. A previous strategic document, “NHS Five Year Forward View” (2014), created a foundation for the current planning by setting in motion some of the initiatives that are now being projected to be spread to the entire system.