Read the Conservatives' election manifesto and it's crystal clear that they are pledging the £8billion over the course of the next Parliament and not annually by 2020. That is only £8billion cumulatively - far less than the £8billion per year by 2020 that Stevens said was the very minimum needed to adequately fund the NHS.
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.
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.
So there I sat spooning syllabub listlessly into my mouth whilst some conker-coloured convict was gently haranguing me about the qualities of the marvellous Spanish health system and how the NHS could learn a thing or two from our continental neighbours when my thoughts began to drift to a consultation I had had earlier that day.