Tag Archives: Tory

Hunt practises his caring face as Tory MPs drop pretence over NHS | John Crace

In any other year, Jeremy Hunt would be a worried man. But as the government concentrates all its resources on Brexit, no one seems to much mind that the NHS is near enough on its knees. Who cares that hundreds of people may be waiting on trolleys in corridors on the off chance they might get to see a doctor before Christmas, when the cabinet is just now getting round to agreeing that it wants a bespoke trade deal with the EU that exists only in its own fantasies?

Not the health secretary, judging by his chilled-out demeanour at his last departmental questions of the year. If he is bothered then he is putting on a good act of not showing it. He smiles, he flutters his eyelids. The ideal bedside manner of a friendly GP. It’s just a pity he’s chosen Harold Shipman as his role model. Killing the NHS with a lethal cocktail of incompetence and ideology.

The health service is now in such a pitiful state that even Tory MPs no longer bother trying to pretend otherwise. Greg Knight got the ball rolling by asking why GP and local hospital services were in such a mess, after which several others piled in with horror stories from their own constituencies. Hunt nodded. Best caring face. It was all terrible, he said. But everything was going to be OK. Just so long as you counted death as one of your OK options.

Why can’t we keep our GPs, asked Conservative Maria Miller. Jeremy – we could call him Jeremy if we liked – had an explanation. It was because doctors were altruistic by nature. And since he had turned general practice into such a desirable job – basically a year-long holiday on sick pay – GPs were leaving in droves to make way for others to get a piece of the action. The fly in the ointment was that doctors were reluctant to fill the vacancies because they didn’t believe they were deserving enough to become GPs.

Funding was dealt with in a similar manner. Everyone should stop moaning about the fact that the NHS was basically broke and be a bit more grateful for the £2.8bn that the chancellor had doled out in the budget. OK, so it wasn’t nearly enough, but no one should begrudge a sticking plaster. Besides, it was all really the fault of the population for living too long. If people had the grace to die when they were supposed to, rather than hanging around for years sponging off the NHS and using up valuable resources, then there would be more than enough money to go round.

A few Tory MPs reluctantly thanked Jeremy for having given their local healthcare trust an extra 35p to tide them over during the winter, but the shadow health minister Justin Madders was not impressed. The NHS just didn’t have the money it needed, he said, and Hunt would be better off trying to fix that problem than having Twitter spats with celebrities who turned out to know rather more about the NHS than he did.

Jeremy was indignant. He’d fight for the right of a minister to make a fool of himself on social media. And as for money, that was just a matter of perspective. The difference between Labour and the Tories was that they would find the money for the NHS by raising corporation taxes, while he would raise it by creating new jobs.

A silence lingered over the Commons as everyone absorbed that piece of idiocy. Not content with switching the NHS on to life support, Jeremy had put himself on an irony bypass. The health secretary has created thousands of jobs by driving people out of the NHS. The problem isn’t the lack of vacancies, it’s the shortage of people willing to work for next to nothing to fill them.

The longer the session went on, the more carefree Jeremy became. Social care? A total mess. Mental health services? A total mess. And so what if he had fiddled the figures to make it look like there were more people working in that sector? Hospital admissions for malnutrition going up? Stop talking Britain down. That was a success story as doctors were now so much better at diagnosing people with malnutrition. In the past, every thin person was just assumed to have cancer and given chemotherapy.

On Brexit, all he could say after shooting himself up with liquid valium was that he wanted “a deep and special partnership with the EU”. A small comfort. And a sign of things to come. The NHS is crying out for a deep and special relationship with Hunt. But it is having to settle for a shallow and decidedly ordinary one.

John Crace’s new book, I, Maybot, is published by Guardian Faber. To order a copy for £6.99, saving £3, go to guardianbookshop.com or call 0330 333 6846. Free UK p&p over £10, online orders only. Phone orders minimum p&p of £1.99.

The real saboteurs are the Tory Brexiters destroying the NHS | Owen Jones

Who are the real saboteurs? Is it those who want Brexit to be properly scrutinised by parliament to prevent a disastrous deal which could wreck the economy and shred social provision? Those were, after all, the saboteurs who needed crushing according to the Daily Mail when Theresa May called her calamitous snap election. Or are the real saboteurs those who – through bigotry, twisted ideological zealotry and outright stupidity – are damaging the fabric of the public services we all depend on?

Britain’s National Health Service is propped up by 12,000 doctors from the European Economic Area. Without them, our most treasured national institution – which brings us into the world, mends us when we are sick or injured, cares for us in our final moments – would collapse. So it should be of some concern to us, to put it mildly, that nearly half of them are considering leaving the country, and a fifth have already made actual plans to do so.

What a twisted irony. The leave campaigners made a calculated decision to win the EU referendum with a toxic mixture of lies and bigotry. One of the most striking falsehoods was an extra £350m a week for the NHS after we left: instead it’s being emptied out of desperately needed doctors.

And can you blame them for wanting to leave? We’ve now had years of vitriolic scapegoating of immigrants to deflect responsibility from the banks, the tax-dodgers, the unaccountable corporations, the poverty-paying employers, the rip-off landlords, the neoliberal politicians, and all the other vested interests who have unleashed misery and insecurity upon this country. The positive contribution of immigrants was all but banished from public discussion. The campaign reached a crescendo during the referendum, with immigrants variously portrayed as potential criminals, rapists, murderers and terrorists, validating every bigot in Britain and resulting in a surge in hate crimes on the streets. I wonder why European doctors don’t feel particularly welcome right now?

This is about the worst possible time to haemorrhage doctors. The NHS is enduring the longest squeeze in its funding as a proportion of GDP since its foundation; it’s being fragmented by marketisation and privatisation; it’s under growing pressure because of decimated social care budgets while citizens continue to live longer. Plunging morale – because of privatisation, staff shortages and cuts – is affecting all doctors, regardless of where they’re born: a recent study suggested two-thirds are considering leaving. The consequence? We’re having to look abroad for more doctors. This is a recurring irony of Conservative rule. After the first five years of the coalition government, drastic cuts to nurse training places led the NHS to look for one in four nurses abroad.

How have we allowed the bigots and xenophobes of our unhinged tabloid press and political elite to inflict so much damage? Rather than making our live-saving foreign doctors feel unwelcome, surely we should be focusing on how we can tax the booming wealthy individuals and big businesses so we can invest more in our NHS? It should be abundantly clear who the real saboteurs are. They have already inflicted incalculable damage to our social fabric, our public services, our economy, and our international standing. The question is: how do we prevent them from inflicting even more damage?

Owen Jones is a Guardian columnist

The real saboteurs are the Tory Brexiters destroying the NHS | Owen Jones

Who are the real saboteurs? Is it those who want Brexit to be properly scrutinised by parliament to prevent a disastrous deal which could wreck the economy and shred social provision? Those were, after all, the saboteurs who needed crushing according to the Daily Mail when Theresa May called her calamitous snap election. Or are the real saboteurs those who – through bigotry, twisted ideological zealotry and outright stupidity – are damaging the fabric of the public services we all depend on?

Britain’s National Health Service is propped up by 12,000 doctors from the European Economic Area. Without them, our most treasured national institution – which brings us into the world, mends us when we are sick or injured, cares for us in our final moments – would collapse. So it should be of some concern to us, to put it mildly, that nearly half of them are considering leaving the country, and a fifth have already made actual plans to do so.

What a twisted irony. The leave campaigners made a calculated decision to win the EU referendum with a toxic mixture of lies and bigotry. One of the most striking falsehoods was an extra £350m a week for the NHS after we left: instead it’s being emptied out of desperately needed doctors.

And can you blame them for wanting to leave? We’ve now had years of vitriolic scapegoating of immigrants to deflect responsibility from the banks, the tax-dodgers, the unaccountable corporations, the poverty-paying employers, the rip-off landlords, the neoliberal politicians, and all the other vested interests who have unleashed misery and insecurity upon this country. The positive contribution of immigrants was all but banished from public discussion. The campaign reached a crescendo during the referendum, with immigrants variously portrayed as potential criminals, rapists, murderers and terrorists, validating every bigot in Britain and resulting in a surge in hate crimes on the streets. I wonder why European doctors don’t feel particularly welcome right now?

This is about the worst possible time to haemorrhage doctors. The NHS is enduring the longest squeeze in its funding as a proportion of GDP since its foundation; it’s being fragmented by marketisation and privatisation; it’s under growing pressure because of decimated social care budgets while citizens continue to live longer. Plunging morale – because of privatisation, staff shortages and cuts – is affecting all doctors, regardless of where they’re born: a recent study suggested two-thirds are considering leaving. The consequence? We’re having to look abroad for more doctors. This is a recurring irony of Conservative rule. After the first five years of the coalition government, drastic cuts to nurse training places led the NHS to look for one in four nurses abroad.

How have we allowed the bigots and xenophobes of our unhinged tabloid press and political elite to inflict so much damage? Rather than making our live-saving foreign doctors feel unwelcome, surely we should be focusing on how we can tax the booming wealthy individuals and big businesses so we can invest more in our NHS? It should be abundantly clear who the real saboteurs are. They have already inflicted incalculable damage to our social fabric, our public services, our economy, and our international standing. The question is: how do we prevent them from inflicting even more damage?

Owen Jones is a Guardian columnist

Jeremy Hunt claims a Tory was the true founder of the NHS – that’s rubbish | Letter

At the recent Conservative party conference the health secretary, Jeremy Hunt, claimed that it was Henry Willink, the Tory minister for health in the wartime coalition, who introduced a white paper on a national health service in 1944, making Willink the founder of the NHS and not Nye Bevan.

My research, thanks to the House of Lords library, tells me that this is complete nonsense and that Mr Hunt is way off the mark. Mr Willink’s proposed bill was by his own admission no more than a consultative document and did not see the light of day.

Indeed, when Nye Bevan’s comprehensive national health service bill was voted into law in 1946, Sir Winston Churchill, Sir Anthony Eden, Harold Macmillan, Rab Butler and other notable Tories voted against it – including Mr Willink himself, who had by then proposed a hostile amendment to the bill.

So Mr Hunt should get his facts straight, and cease misleading his Tory brethren and the wider public.
Tom Pendry
Labour, House of Lords

Join the debate – email guardian.letters@theguardian.com

Read more Guardian letters – click here to visit gu.com/letters

Jeremy Hunt claims a Tory was the true founder of the NHS – that’s rubbish | Letter

At the recent Conservative party conference the health secretary, Jeremy Hunt, claimed that it was Henry Willink, the Tory minister for health in the wartime coalition, who introduced a white paper on a national health service in 1944, making Willink the founder of the NHS and not Nye Bevan.

My research, thanks to the House of Lords library, tells me that this is complete nonsense and that Mr Hunt is way off the mark. Mr Willink’s proposed bill was by his own admission no more than a consultative document and did not see the light of day.

Indeed, when Nye Bevan’s comprehensive national health service bill was voted into law in 1946, Sir Winston Churchill, Sir Anthony Eden, Harold Macmillan, Rab Butler and other notable Tories voted against it – including Mr Willink himself, who had by then proposed a hostile amendment to the bill.

So Mr Hunt should get his facts straight, and cease misleading his Tory brethren and the wider public.
Tom Pendry
Labour, House of Lords

Join the debate – email guardian.letters@theguardian.com

Read more Guardian letters – click here to visit gu.com/letters

Jeremy Hunt claims a Tory was the true founder of the NHS – that’s rubbish | Letter

At the recent Conservative party conference the health secretary, Jeremy Hunt, claimed that it was Henry Willink, the Tory minister for health in the wartime coalition, who introduced a white paper on a national health service in 1944, making Willink the founder of the NHS and not Nye Bevan.

My research, thanks to the House of Lords library, tells me that this is complete nonsense and that Mr Hunt is way off the mark. Mr Willink’s proposed bill was by his own admission no more than a consultative document and did not see the light of day.

Indeed, when Nye Bevan’s comprehensive national health service bill was voted into law in 1946, Sir Winston Churchill, Sir Anthony Eden, Harold Macmillan, Rab Butler and other notable Tories voted against it – including Mr Willink himself, who had by then proposed a hostile amendment to the bill.

So Mr Hunt should get his facts straight, and cease misleading his Tory brethren and the wider public.
Tom Pendry
Labour, House of Lords

Join the debate – email guardian.letters@theguardian.com

Read more Guardian letters – click here to visit gu.com/letters

Jeremy Hunt claims a Tory was the true founder of the NHS – that’s rubbish | Letter

At the recent Conservative party conference the health secretary, Jeremy Hunt, claimed that it was Henry Willink, the Tory minister for health in the wartime coalition, who introduced a white paper on a national health service in 1944, making Willink the founder of the NHS and not Nye Bevan.

My research, thanks to the House of Lords library, tells me that this is complete nonsense and that Mr Hunt is way off the mark. Mr Willink’s proposed bill was by his own admission no more than a consultative document and did not see the light of day.

Indeed, when Nye Bevan’s comprehensive national health service bill was voted into law in 1946, Sir Winston Churchill, Sir Anthony Eden, Harold Macmillan, Rab Butler and other notable Tories voted against it – including Mr Willink himself, who had by then proposed a hostile amendment to the bill.

So Mr Hunt should get his facts straight, and cease misleading his Tory brethren and the wider public.
Tom Pendry
Labour, House of Lords

Join the debate – email guardian.letters@theguardian.com

Read more Guardian letters – click here to visit gu.com/letters

Jeremy Hunt claims a Tory was the true founder of the NHS – that’s rubbish | Letter

At the recent Conservative party conference the health secretary, Jeremy Hunt, claimed that it was Henry Willink, the Tory minister for health in the wartime coalition, who introduced a white paper on a national health service in 1944, making Willink the founder of the NHS and not Nye Bevan.

My research, thanks to the House of Lords library, tells me that this is complete nonsense and that Mr Hunt is way off the mark. Mr Willink’s proposed bill was by his own admission no more than a consultative document and did not see the light of day.

Indeed, when Nye Bevan’s comprehensive national health service bill was voted into law in 1946, Sir Winston Churchill, Sir Anthony Eden, Harold Macmillan, Rab Butler and other notable Tories voted against it – including Mr Willink himself, who had by then proposed a hostile amendment to the bill.

So Mr Hunt should get his facts straight, and cease misleading his Tory brethren and the wider public.
Tom Pendry
Labour, House of Lords

Join the debate – email guardian.letters@theguardian.com

Read more Guardian letters – click here to visit gu.com/letters

Stephen Hawking blames Tory politicians for damaging NHS

Stephen Hawking has accused ministers of damaging the NHS, blaming the Conservatives in a passionate and sustained attack for slashing funding, weakening the health service though privatisation, demoralising staff by curbing pay and cutting social care support.

The renowned 75-year-old physicist was speaking to promote an address he will give on Saturday outlining how he owes his long life and achievements to the NHS care he received, and setting out his fears for a service he believes is being turned into “a US-style insurance system”.

The author of A Brief History of Time did not name any minister or political party in his general complaint, but he blamed a raft of policies pursued since 2010 by the coalition and then the Conservatives for enfeebling the NHS and leaving it unable to cope with the demands being placed on it.

“The crisis in the NHS has been caused by political decisions,” he said. “The political decisions include underfunding and cuts, privatising services, the public sector pay cap, the new contract imposed on the junior doctors and removal of the student nurses’ bursary.

“Failures in the system of privatised social care for disabled and elderly people has also placed additional burden on the NHS.”

Hawking was diagnosed with motor neurone disease at the age of 21, a story told in the film The Theory of Everything, and has increasingly relied on the NHS as his condition has deteriorated.

Felicity Jones and Eddie Redmayne star in The Theory of Everything.


Felicity Jones and Eddie Redmayne star in The Theory of Everything. Photograph: Working Title Films/Allstar

His speech at the Royal Society of Medicine will single out Jeremy Hunt, the health secretary, who claimed that 11,000 patients a year died because of understaffing of hospitals at weekends. Hawking will say that four of the eight studies cited by Hunt were not peer reviewed and that he ignored 13 papers which contradicted his statements.

“Speaking as a scientist, cherry picking evidence is unacceptable,” he will say. “When public figures abuse scientific argument, citing some studies but suppressing others, to justify policies that they want to implement for other reasons, it debases scientific culture.

“One consequence of this sort of behaviour is that it leads ordinary people not to trust science, at a time when scientific research and progress are more important than ever, given the challenges we face as a human race.”

Criticising NHS privatisation, Hawking will say that the £2.9bn spent every year by hospitals in England on temporary personnel to alleviate chronic understaffing has enriched private employment firms while denying the NHS vital funding.

“The huge increase in the use of private agency staff, for example, inevitably means that money is extracted from the system as profit for the agency, and increases costs for the whole country.”

Hawking will says he fears that private firms have gained such a large role in treating NHS patients they are now undermining its founding principles and opening the door to the Americanisation of care.

“We must prevent the establishment of a two-tier service, with the best medicine for the wealthy and an inferior service for the rest. International comparisons indicate that the most efficient way to provide good healthcare is for services to be publicly funded and publicly run.

“We see that the direction in the UK is towards a US-style insurance system, run by the private companies, and that is because the balance of power right now is with the private companies.”

Politicians need to defend the NHS and the public be encouraged to take a stand, he will say.

Demonstrators attend a rally in central London, in support of the NHS in 2017.


There have been a number of protests over cuts to the NHS in recent years. Photograph: Victoria Jones/PA

He rejects claims that the spiralling costs of treating an ageing and growing population, coupled with tight government finances, mean the NHS, which will receive £149.2bn of public funding across the UK this year, has become too expensive to continue in its present form. That idea has sparked inquiries by select committees of both houses of parliament, thinktanks and medical bodies.

“When politicians and private healthcare industry lobbyists claim that we cannot afford the NHS, this is the exact inversion of the truth. We cannot afford not to have the NHS”, he will declare.

Hawking, who is acclaimed for his work on black holes in space, works at Cambridge University as director of research at the centre for theoretical cosmology.

He will recount how staff at Addenbrooke’s hospital in Cambridge saved his life in 1985 when, suffering from pneumonia related to problems with his larynx, he was airlifted there from Switzerland where doctors had said they could not save him and that his ventilator should be turned off.

He will also tell of undergoing a risky but ultimately life-saving procedure to remove his larynx in 1999, under the surgeon David Howard at a London specialist hospital. “I have had a lot of experience of the NHS, and the care I received has enabled me to live my life as I want and to contribute to major advances in our understanding of the universe.”

Prof Sir Simon Wessely, the RSM’s president, said: “Prof Stephen Hawking’s reputation goes before him, so when a man of his extraordinary intellect but also with his equally extraordinary experience of illness, talks about the NHS and its values, we must all pay close attention.”

Responding to Hawking’s criticisms on variation in care across the week, Hunt tweeted on Friday night:

Jeremy Hunt (@Jeremy_Hunt)

Stephen Hawking is brilliant physicist but wrong on lack of evidence 4 weekend effect.2015 Fremantle study most comprehensive ever 1/2

August 18, 2017

Jeremy Hunt (@Jeremy_Hunt)

And whatever entrenched opposition,no responsible health sec could ignore it if you want NHS 2 be safest health service in world as I do 2/2

August 18, 2017

The government defended its record on the NHS and pointed to the Commonwealth Fund thinktank’s recent verdict that the service is the best out of 11 rich countries’ health systems. “This government is fully committed to a world-class NHS free at the point of use, now and in the future. That’s why we’re backing it with an extra £8bn of investment over the next five years,” a Department of Health spokeswoman said.

“Today, there are almost 11,800 more doctors and over 12,500 more nurses on our wards than there were in 2010 and the NHS is seeing 1,800 more A&E patients within the four-hour standard every single day. Despite being busy, the NHS has been ranked as the best, safest and most affordable healthcare system out of 11 wealthy nations, as analysed by the Commonwealth Fund.”

Stephen Hawking blames Tory politicians for damaging NHS

Stephen Hawking has accused ministers of damaging the NHS, blaming the Conservatives in a passionate and sustained attack for slashing funding, weakening the health service though privatisation, demoralising staff by curbing pay and cutting social care support.

The renowned 75-year-old physicist was speaking to promote an address he will give on Saturday outlining how he owes his long life and achievements to the NHS care he received, and setting out his fears for a service he believes is being turned into “a US-style insurance system”.

The author of A Brief History of Time did not name any minister or political party in his general complaint, but he blamed a raft of policies pursued since 2010 by the coalition and then the Conservatives for enfeebling the NHS and leaving it unable to cope with the demands being placed on it.

“The crisis in the NHS has been caused by political decisions,” he said. “The political decisions include underfunding and cuts, privatising services, the public sector pay cap, the new contract imposed on the junior doctors and removal of the student nurses’ bursary.

“Failures in the system of privatised social care for disabled and elderly people has also placed additional burden on the NHS.”

Hawking was diagnosed with motor neurone disease at the age of 21, a story told in the film The Theory of Everything, and has increasingly relied on the NHS as his condition has deteriorated.

Felicity Jones and Eddie Redmayne star in The Theory of Everything.


Felicity Jones and Eddie Redmayne star in The Theory of Everything. Photograph: Working Title Films/Allstar

His speech at the Royal Society of Medicine will single out Jeremy Hunt, the health secretary, who claimed that 11,000 patients a year died because of understaffing of hospitals at weekends. Hawking will say that four of the eight studies cited by Hunt were not peer reviewed and that he ignored 13 papers which contradicted his statements.

“Speaking as a scientist, cherry picking evidence is unacceptable,” he will say. “When public figures abuse scientific argument, citing some studies but suppressing others, to justify policies that they want to implement for other reasons, it debases scientific culture.

“One consequence of this sort of behaviour is that it leads ordinary people not to trust science, at a time when scientific research and progress are more important than ever, given the challenges we face as a human race.”

Criticising NHS privatisation, Hawking will say that the £2.9bn spent every year by hospitals in England on temporary personnel to alleviate chronic understaffing has enriched private employment firms while denying the NHS vital funding.

“The huge increase in the use of private agency staff, for example, inevitably means that money is extracted from the system as profit for the agency, and increases costs for the whole country.”

Hawking will says he fears that private firms have gained such a large role in treating NHS patients they are now undermining its founding principles and opening the door to the Americanisation of care.

“We must prevent the establishment of a two-tier service, with the best medicine for the wealthy and an inferior service for the rest. International comparisons indicate that the most efficient way to provide good healthcare is for services to be publicly funded and publicly run.

“We see that the direction in the UK is towards a US-style insurance system, run by the private companies, and that is because the balance of power right now is with the private companies.”

Politicians need to defend the NHS and the public be encouraged to take a stand, he will say.

Demonstrators attend a rally in central London, in support of the NHS in 2017.


There have been a number of protests over cuts to the NHS in recent years. Photograph: Victoria Jones/PA

He rejects claims that the spiralling costs of treating an ageing and growing population, coupled with tight government finances, mean the NHS, which will receive £149.2bn of public funding across the UK this year, has become too expensive to continue in its present form. That idea has sparked inquiries by select committees of both houses of parliament, thinktanks and medical bodies.

“When politicians and private healthcare industry lobbyists claim that we cannot afford the NHS, this is the exact inversion of the truth. We cannot afford not to have the NHS”, he will declare.

Hawking, who is acclaimed for his work on black holes in space, works at Cambridge University as director of research at the centre for theoretical cosmology.

He will recount how staff at Addenbrooke’s hospital in Cambridge saved his life in 1985 when, suffering from pneumonia related to problems with his larynx, he was airlifted there from Switzerland where doctors had said they could not save him and that his ventilator should be turned off.

He will also tell of undergoing a risky but ultimately life-saving procedure to remove his larynx in 1999, under the surgeon David Howard at a London specialist hospital. “I have had a lot of experience of the NHS, and the care I received has enabled me to live my life as I want and to contribute to major advances in our understanding of the universe.”

Prof Sir Simon Wessely, the RSM’s president, said: “Prof Stephen Hawking’s reputation goes before him, so when a man of his extraordinary intellect but also with his equally extraordinary experience of illness, talks about the NHS and its values, we must all pay close attention.”

Responding to Hawking’s criticisms on variation in care across the week, Hunt tweeted on Friday night:

Jeremy Hunt (@Jeremy_Hunt)

Stephen Hawking is brilliant physicist but wrong on lack of evidence 4 weekend effect.2015 Fremantle study most comprehensive ever 1/2

August 18, 2017

Jeremy Hunt (@Jeremy_Hunt)

And whatever entrenched opposition,no responsible health sec could ignore it if you want NHS 2 be safest health service in world as I do 2/2

August 18, 2017

The government defended its record on the NHS and pointed to the Commonwealth Fund thinktank’s recent verdict that the service is the best out of 11 rich countries’ health systems. “This government is fully committed to a world-class NHS free at the point of use, now and in the future. That’s why we’re backing it with an extra £8bn of investment over the next five years,” a Department of Health spokeswoman said.

“Today, there are almost 11,800 more doctors and over 12,500 more nurses on our wards than there were in 2010 and the NHS is seeing 1,800 more A&E patients within the four-hour standard every single day. Despite being busy, the NHS has been ranked as the best, safest and most affordable healthcare system out of 11 wealthy nations, as analysed by the Commonwealth Fund.”