David Cameron promised a 'truly seven-day NHS' before and after the general election, even going as far as to use the word 'plan' 18 times in one speech. The fact that there is no plan, that the government is yet to set the objectives or assess the impact of expanding seven-day services, only goes to show that this was nothing more than a headline-grabbing soundbite set to win votes rather than improve care for patients.
The NHS absolutely cannot handle the closure of up to 3000 pharmacies in addition to its already enormous problems. Officials should get around the table with pharmacists and patients to discuss, from first principles, a future in which the pharmacy sector is vibrant and efficient, and fulfilling its full potential on the health service front line.
Charities, campaigners and a small but growing number of MPs have done a brilliant job over the last fifteen years in raising awareness of mental health: tackling the myths, encouraging people to talk, and reducing the stigma. We know now that anyone can experience mental health problems, or have a friend or family who is struggling. That one in four stat has stuck...
Junior Doctors are trusted all over the country, every hour of every week, to look after the health of their patients. My plea would be that none would be swayed by the spun conspiracy theories from the government that the BMA to trying to destroy Westminster. Rather, I would appeal for trust that this country's doctors will continue to do what they are the best in the world at doing- looking after their patients.
My Granddad's final words to me came after I had prayed with him, - I thought he wasn't really conscious but then my mum and I heard him say 'Thank you' - it was the same gruff thanks I remember whenever I gave him presents at Christmas time as a child. I have to confess it was a moment to shed and happy sad tear. He had been aware, had appreciated my small action, and was resting again.
Your safety is being put at risk. My greatest fear is that nothing changes, the NHS slowly crumbles, stretching more and more, doctors too tired to concentrate, patient care suffering, safety put at risk. You as a patient know this from your experiences every day. If the NHS is going to survive for the future, all of us - patients, public, professionals and politicians, need to accept that it isn't working. We need an honest discussion about its future. We need to start talking.
I believe wholeheartedly in consultation, engagement, empowerment, and ownership. But not as just buzz words to drop into meetings. Rather, I believe in what these words stand for at their best: genuine conversations between practitioners, partners, patients, policy makers and even politicians; shared insights into what works and what needs work; and a commitment to agreeing and delivering change, and all that that entails.
With the big tobacco companies so focussed on attracting young smokers through pack design, plain packaging is a key step for any country to introduce in the battle to lessen the consequences of smoking to the health service and society in general. Too many people are needlessly dying prematurely because of smoking and too many young people are still being hooked - let's use the next few weeks to save lives and reduce the burden on our NHS.