The health service is under considerable strain. With key targets on A&E and cancer waiting times in breach, the King's Fund recently argued NHS performance is at its lowest since the 1990s. The financial situation is also precarious. The hospital sector is forecast to be £800 million in deficit by the end of 2014-15.
The NHS was established in 1948. Today it faces its biggest challenge since its inception. A failure to radically reform how we deliver new models of care across the NHS over the next five years could lead to a serious threat to this much-loved public service remaining universal and free at the point of need.
As time goes on, I know for a fact that I will be congratulated on how well I look and how slim I have become and be told I have done well, but the minute that it is known that I have cost the NHS in the region of £8,000 people's opinion of this weight loss will change.
Good managers are not administrators, they are dynamic individuals adept at problem solving and organisation. The colour of their suits and their gender varies, but this has no bearing on their ability to successfully manage our healthcare system.
We need to get things right because we are accountable directly to the human being in front of us. We deal with the individual on a personal level.
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.
If the NHS really is a national treasure then let's treasure it and that means treasuring and supporting those who are its lifeblood, not merely focusing on its relationship with the Treasury.
There is an area of health care that the general public in England does not know much about and that our politicians would prefer to keep that way. Its only when you have a relative with a serious long term health condition that you discover the complex, unfair and inhumane system that you have to go through to get NHS funding for the care your loved one needs.
In many respects the "fully engaged" patient has arrived. Yet progress towards engagement has taken place at the margins of the NHS, rather than being its core business. If the NHS is to deliver the savings it needs, it must find a better way to tap into this human resource.
There are thousands of recently retired or soon to retire GPs, mainly doing so before 65 years of age, who, like myself, still enjoy clinical medicine but can't be bothered with all the rest of the guff clogging up primary care.
I have worked in A&E, dealing with life and death every day. I never felt like this. I have worked in paediatrics and child safeguarding, coping with desperately sick and abused children. I never felt like this. I have delivered babies, been there when a stillbirth happens, tried in vain to resuscitate a child who did not have a chance at life while their parents looked on. I never felt like this. I have cared for stroke patients, cancer patients, sat and held hands as some died. I never felt like this. I have failed in this, my chosen career... I suddenly realised I couldn't carry on. Either I left, and made a new start caring for patients in a different way. Or I left full stop and was no longer a GP.
Public belief in the NHS has completely disintegrated. It has let people down unforgivably. This is not something we can ignore, on the contrary, listening to each other is now more important than ever.
Labour have a catastrophic track record on the NHS, an indefensible record, they do not have serious solutions to the problems the NHS of today faces, let's face it they created so many of them and remain in blissful denial.
It would appear that social care remains a poor relation of the NHS, lacking both political clout and financial resources. It doesn't need to be that way. Let's reframe social care as a universal public service: social care services available for all people who will inevitably need them at some point in their lives
As long as the public continues to accept the assurances of the rich that we have to suffer so that they don't have to, the bitterness created will continue to create divisions between ethnic and religious communities that should be working together to destroy zero hour contracts and ensure proper funding for the NHS.
The most offensive aspect of Nigel Farage's views is the fact they are rooted in the dehumanisation of some of the most vulnerable people in society... The NHS stands as the very antithesis of the worldview promoted by Nigel Farage. It could not function without immigration and therefore an attack on the those from outwith the UK who help to ensure it remains the glowing testament to social and human solidarity it has been for generations, this is an attack on all of us.