A new report caused shocked headlines in the UK yesterday with the suggestion that the National Health Service (NHS) will struggle to cope with a tsunami of chronic disease in the coming decades.
‘The “heart-disease time-bomb”’, warned the Telegraph. ‘Three in four Britons will be struck by obesity-related illnesses in 20 years (and they’ll be a shortage of 50,000 nurses)’ was the less-than-pithy version offered by the Daily Mail.
This is serious stuff. Curious, I went to the report, produced by the Centre for Workforce Intelligence (CIWF). There, no doubt, would be the detailed calculations and methodology which would illuminate this eye-popping figure. This is what the summary report says:
‘Estimates suggest that three quarters of the population could be suffering from the effects of heart disease, diabetes and related illnesses within two decades, which is a significant jump. Furthermore, the improving trends seen in survival rates for these diseases translate into larger numbers of people needing nursing care.’