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Coronavirus: the crisis the NHS needed?

The health service will emerge stronger and better prepared to face the next pandemic

By Roger Jones  

Photo: Yui Mok/PA Archive/PA Images

Before coronavirus knocked the world off its axis, many healthcare systems, including the NHS, were facing major difficulties. These included rapidly rising levels of non-communicable diseases (for example, the care of diabetes now accounts for 10 per cent of NHS expenditure), co-morbidity—the majority of people over the age of 75 have three or more significant chronic illnesses—and an ageing population, with more than five million over-75s in the UK. At the end of 2019, the NHS had serious problems. A recruitment, retention and morale…

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