The doom-mongers would have us believe the NHS is a failing institution. That it's in the abyss of financial ruin, unravelling at the seams and unable to cope with the demands of patients. Yes, our health service is facing difficult times but we need to ditch the hyperbole, focus on the facts and look to solutions. The challenges should be used as energy for change, rather than excuses for where we currently are.
Thanks to Labour peers, one good thing to come out of the Health and Social Care Act was the commitment to parity of esteem between physical and mental health. Despite paying lip-service to the idea, ministers have done nothing to make it a reality. One year on from the reorganisation we are further away from parity than before.
Last week Sir John Oldham published his long awaited report on health policy for the Labour Party. In his foreword Sir John describes one of the key political challenge of successful reform...
In a bid to improve quality the Government has taken its eyes off the money. Back in 2010 the health service was set the mission of improving productivity by £20 billion. As many leading independent voices and the Government itself recognised, achieving such savings would only be possible by fundamentally transforming how care is delivered and organised.
The reality is the more forms doctors and nurses have to fill in, the more boxes they have to tick, the less time they have to spend caring for patients. While it's only right to expect our medical professionals to follow best practice and be accountable for their work, tying them up with excessive form-filling doesn't help.
Clinics must be held accountable for their records. Like John Ryan of MYA Clinics pointed out, if an organization as massive as the National Health Service are publishing increasing amounts of clinical data, so should the private sector.
Developments in telemedicine are benefitting patients with a broad range of needs as well as improving hospital services and improving resource allocation across the NHS. Significant progress has been made towards three million people being able to benefit from telehealth by 2017 in the UK, so these programmes could be coming to hospital near you soon.
Nearly a day doesn't go by when there's a headline in the UK about government cuts impacting older people, residential homes shutting down or elder abuse. It's fair to say that everyone knows the system is broken yet not a lot of progress is being made to fix it.
Since our Prime Minister David Cameron introduced it last year for hospital patients, we have had instant feedback from over 1.3million people - and there is clear evidence our NHS is responding well.
We could all find it much harder to access NHS services, vulnerable people could be put off or prevented from accessing health care that they need, NHS staff will have an additional administrative burden to implement the system. And we don't know if it will really save any money. We should all be worried about what this means for the NHS.
Everyone deserves care that works for them and their families at the end of their lives. However, we know that end of life care is not meeting the needs of people from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) communities, and we are in danger of failing to reach increasing numbers unless urgent steps are taken.
Last year wasn't a great one for the NHS. In fact, it was often downright shocking. A barrage of bad news, from care scandals to A&E crises and much more besides, meant its reputation took a battering and left a whole host of issues to deal with in 2014 and beyond.
The second reading of the Care Bill this week provides an opportunity for MPs to look at how including a statutory duty for local authorities to fast track funding for social care can be included in the Bill.
Reports about the amount of money being spent by the NHS on medical negligence claims highlight the urgent need for deep-rooted changes in the way services are delivered and the way claims are handled...
I really miss the days when the worst we thought Jeremy Hunt could do to the NHS was privatise it. At least you knew what you were getting with privatisation. But what Mr Hunt is doing, incredibly, manages to be worse.
It's been a long nine months for the NHS since the Francis report was published. As if the terrible and unnecessary suffering at Mid-staffs wasn't enough, numerous other scandals have come to light all across the country, continuing to damage the reputation of what we like to think of as a national treasure.