Express & Star

Comment: In the name of 'real change', it's time to accept NHS 'failings where they are found'

The pressures facing the NHS have rarely been off the agenda since the beginning of the pandemic in 2020.

"After an era of Boris Johnson boosterism, it is time to accept failings where they are found."

The cumulative effect of this sustained pressure over such a long period is creating a ticking timebomb. As people begin to return from their summer breaks, autumn will soon be upon us and with it will come the flu season to add yet more pressure.

The position may not be quite as bad as last year or the year before, when we were in crisis-mode. However, it is considerably worse than the conventional norm. The NHS will still have to deal with Covid cases, and it also faces problems of staff retention and recruitment, as people have exited the service after becoming burned out and dispirited.

Waiting lists – while improving – are still high and the service upon which we all depend is creaking and in need of repair.

The situation requires immediate attention to address the short-term problems – but it also requires leadership with the vision to address some of the fundamental issues that are calling into question the future of our precious NHS.

A new Prime Minister will soon be in place and there are many priorities for them to attend to; the cost of living crisis, issues in education, the economic deficit caused by Brexit, inflation, and, sadly, serious issues relating to the health service.

After an era of Boris Johnson boosterism, it is time to accept failings where they are found.

Only then can real and substantive changes be brought about. The Health Service is not fit for purpose in many parts of the country. We must accept that and plan for improvements.