The UK health service is one of the best on planet earth.
Why then do we talk it down and find so many opportunities for improvement?
Because technology (medical, care pathways, equipment) and understanding (what we know, how we know what causes what) is moving at such a pace that what was cutting edge last year has been replaced by the new cutting edge.
Type 1 Diabetes is the best example. 40 years ago, most people died, and those who had access to a specialist consultant were carefully titrated by hand in an extremely expensive environment. As recently as 5 years ago, most annual reviews were done by hospital consultants, even though GPs could prescribe and administer the insulin. Yet today, most people with this condition have a box and home that they put in a drop of blood, and it tells them how to self-inject.
So there's room for improvement, even for the best in the world.
And in the new NHS (post "Liberating the NHS") - GPs (general practitioners, primary care physicians, the people who make a preliminary diagnosis and treat 90% of cases and send people for more specialist care) will design new patient pathways, so why should they bother? That's the task for the healthcare improvement specialist!