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New online course demystifies the inner workings of the NHS in England

The King’s Fund, an independent charity working to improve health and care in England, has partnered with FutureLearn, the social learning platform, to offer an authoritative insight into the history and workings of the NHS. The announcement comes in the year that the NHS celebrates its 70th birthday.

The structure of the NHS, how funding flows through the system, and NHS performance are all areas that will be explored in the new online course delivered by The King’s Fund in collaboration with FutureLearn. ‘The NHS Explained: How the Health System in England Really Works ’ starts on 15 October 2018 and is open for enrolment now. The course is aimed at those interested in or currently working for the NHS, students considering further study or a career in medicine as well as members of the public who want to learn more about the NHS.

Hong-Anh Nguyen, librarian at The King’s Fund and lead educator on the online course, said: “The NHS is a unique health care system that is a source of national pride for Britons and consistently polls as a key issue for the electorate. This year marks the 70th anniversary of the NHS but what will it look like in another 70 years time? We’ve developed this course to build understanding of this complex and constantly evolving system so that learners can understand the current and future challenges and opportunities facing the NHS. We’re delighted to partner with FutureLearn to combine our expertise with FutureLearn’s open and accessible platform to help all learners, from staff to patients and the public, gain a broad understanding of the NHS.”

Helen Fuller, healthcare lead at FutureLearn, said: “The NHS is incredibly highly valued in the UK and the subject of heated debate. We’re thrilled to be able to work with The King’s Fund who has developed a course which will help those working within the NHS, and all of us who use it, to better understand how this complex system works. As the challenges for the NHS increase, it’s vital that the public is informed so that they too can join the debate.

By the end of the course, learners will be able to pinpoint when and why the NHS was established, understand how it is constantly evolving, and understand who makes up the institution’s workforce. Learners will then progress to explore how the NHS decides to spend its budget and how its performance is monitored, before examining the issues facing the NHS, such as Brexit, technological and demographic change, and exploring how these challenges are addressed.

About FutureLearn

FutureLearn is a leading social learning platform formed in December 2012 by The Open University and is now the largest online learning platform in Europe with eight million people signed up worldwide. FutureLearn uses design, technology and partnerships to create enjoyable, credible and flexible online courses and postgraduate degrees that improve working lives. It partners with over a quarter of the world’s top universities, as well as organisations such as Accenture, the British Council, CIPD, Raspberry Pi and the New York Institute of Finance.

About The King’s Fund

The King’s Fund is an independent charity working to improve health and care in England. We help to shape policy and practice through research and analysis; develop individuals, teams and organisations; promote understanding of the health and social care system; and bring people together to learn, share knowledge and debate. Our vision is that the best possible health and care is available to all.


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