How much do you know about the NHS? With the service turning 70 this year, a lot has been done to celebrate the service and to remind the public of what it is and what it can do. Whether you benefit from doctors, dental or other healthcare services, you can learn a lot about your NHS through numbers. Take a closer look at the NHS numbers and what they could mean to you.
How many people work for the NHS?
The NHS is the world’s fifth biggest employer, following behind the US Department of Defense, the People’s Liberation Army in China, Walmart and McDonalds. It employs nearly 2 million people, who are needed to provide the healthcare services we use everyday. However, there are still gaps in the NHS that need to be filled, and it’s hoped that a new generation will be inspired to follow careers as nurses and GPs in the future.
NHS Numbers: Wednesday is the busiest day for appointments
If you’re looking for the day to avoid trying to get an appointment, it’s Wednesday. In hospitals alone, there are around 56,000 admissions on a Wednesday, which doesn’t include the number of A&E visits or outpatient appointments that also take place in hospitals. Of these admissions, over 38% are for patients who are 65 and over, while 11% are for children under 15 years of age.
A&E is ‘busiest on a Monday’
Monday is the busiest time for A&E, with 64,226 admissions constituting a typical Monday. Figures have shown that under 4s make up the largest proportion of appointments, followed by 20-34 year olds. In the latter age category, advice has been offered to help people stay out of A&E, with a better focus on self-care and living a healthier lifestyle.
In the past, there have been concerns about the number of people going to A&E unnecessarily, with patients being encouraged to dial 111 to get help for conditions which might not require urgent treatment. Out of hours surgeries can provide services outside of regular GP hours, which could save a long wait at A&E, as well as keep services free for those who are in urgent need.
Dementia, heart disease and cancer
Last year, dementia took over as the leading cause of death in the UK, overtaking heart disease. With an increasing ageing population, this isn’t a surprise. Meanwhile, heart disease continues to be a concern, and is avoidable in many cases through healthier living. Obesity continues to be a major challenge in combatting long-term health conditions, including diabetes, which has 4 million sufferers in the UK.
Your GP surgery
There are over 1 million GP appointments each day in the UK, although many of these are unnecessary. Many of the conditions seen by GPs can be managed at home or with the help of a pharmacist, which would free up appointments for those with greater need. Better self-care through healthy eating and exercise could also help people to avoid illness and be healthier overall.
There are many things you can do to improve NHS numbers. From donating blood and registering to be an organ donor, you can do your bit to help. Self-care is particularly important to ease the pressure on our services, and you can also take advantage of some of the other services on offer like using your local out of hours services. Understanding more about our healthcare system will help you understand its challenges, so take a closer look at the numbers and do your bit to help.