Star comment: NHS needs investment and widespread improvement

Health system is in a mess and the status quo will not do.

The NHS is in a mess. Covid hit the organisation hard and there have been other, catastrophic issues to hit local services, not least the scandal at maternity units.

More must be done to bring waiting times to an end, improve the management of local hospitals and ensure that those who need treatment can get it in a reasonable amount of time. Certainly, we should not be in the position that presently exists, where delays lead to unnecessary pain and suffering, a worsening of conditions or in some instances, missed diagnosis with the dreadful consequences that brings.

A commitment by NHS England, therefore, to virtually eliminate the waiting list of those who’ve not been seen for more than two years should be welcomed. Creative ways to reduce that list should also bring a degree of reassurance, even if that means sending patients out of their region or putting them into private hospitals.

There are too many people waiting in pain and this issue must become a priority for the Government as we attempt to clear the effects of Covid.

NHS workers were our heroes as we stood on our doorsteps and applauded their efforts when the country was plunged into lockdown. Now, while Covid cases remain high, we are in a different place. We can no longer consider it normal or acceptable that people have to live with needless pain. We must increase our efforts to tackle the backlog and put patients first. Hospitals and their staff must be given the resources required to effect change and improve a situation that is neither sustainable nor desirable.

The status quo will not do. We need change, investment and widespread improvement.

Wholesale fuel prices go down, yet forecourt prices go up. Interest rates on credit cards and loans go up, interest rates on savings accounts remain unchanged. Yet again the public are being played as fools as big business takes advantage of the economic situation to hike profits. Our economy works because it is free, without state intervention. But in these cases, and with the cost of living crisis deepening, it is surely time that ministers act to ensure the public are being given a fair deal.

The situation at the fuel pumps is driving people into poverty. People can’t afford to drive to hospital appointments or take children to school, let alone drive to work. And while this land-locked region has no ports, entire sectors of industry – including the nation’s fisheries – may collapse without some form of intervention. The present situation is unsustainable for many.

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