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.
In a hospital where the paths of staff and patients can cross in various different roles it is understandably difficult for patients to be assured of privacy and confidentiality. It is a fact we should be aware of and take seriously to prevent important information being with held to the detriment of patient care.
When a photograph of an emergency room doctor grieving for a 19-year-old patient was posted online recently, it went viral with thousands of shares, likes and comments. Most of this stemmed from the fact that doctors are not known for showing personal emotions. Like all healthcare staff we deal with difficult, sometimes hugely distressing scenarios every day. We have all had moments like that doctor. Where a patient has affected us so profoundly, we cannot hold it together and need some space. This is a tribute to just five of the patients that have taught me to be a better doctor. Identifying details have been changed to preserve patient anonymity.
Dear Boris, Yesterday on your Facebook page, you posted a lengthy diatribe against 'Lefties', which captured my interest.
This is what we have degenerated British political debate into. A festival of unsubstantiated mudslinging and disrespectful campaigning. I would say it is like watching teenagers, but teenagers have evidently proven far more effective.
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.
Long term health conditions such as dementia, cancer and depression affect 15 million of us in the UK today, making up the bulk of increasing demand on the NHS. With our most cherished institution struggling to meet the costs, it is clear we need to find new and different ways of preventing and managing ill health.
Behind every burnout there is a story of overwork and overwhelm, which is why it is becoming a problem of epidemic proportions and affecting people of all ages and professions.
According to this week's Budget speech, satisfaction with the NHS is rising year on year. While the NHS can be incredible in a crisis - as I discovered when a close friend, in his early forties, went from complaining of headaches and dizzy spells to, 48 hours later, having lifesaving brain surgery - there are other, unsung services that are facing unprecedented cuts.
It is unacceptable to rely on youth charities and youth centres to hold mentally unwell young people steady. People deserve better than that, young people deserve recovery and a chance at living a fulfilling life.
You don't have to be a racing driver, skier or cyclist to get subdural haematomas. It can occur after a minor head injury, especially among the elderly. I am about to turn 70 so I am now in the category of the Grey Panthers.
The UK has a world class education system and a world class National Health Service, but both of these are being undermined when policy makers continue to pollute minds with the idea that unfounded treatments, which fly in the face of scientific evidence, can find a space in our NHS.
Unfortunately, in this case a process which is of huge public interest has gone on behind closed doors rather than adopting the transparent and inclusive approach that was promised by politicians and civil servants alike. It fuels suspicion that the decision was made on a muddle of flawed criteria.
50% of us will be diagnosed with cancer during our lifetime so we all have a vested interest in how cancer patients are being treated now and in the future.
I have met David Cameron and I liked him. That in itself is strange as I have a natural dislike of politicians mainly due to the way they speak. Mr Cameron however came across well and I believed every word he said. I also truly believe he meant every word of them.
What is lacking is a long-term view in the NHS. Policy and decision making, the running of it as an organisation, even what names are given to each part. Every 5 years the NHS gets on the General Election Merry-go-round, and every 5 years, it comes off as something different than it went on as.