It needs a period of unbroken calm, funding and realistic planning.


Do you think the NHS is broken?

I don’t.

A lot of people working in it are broken hearted.

A lot of people who are older, have a long-term condition or nearing the end of their days, are distraught to see the bond between them and Hippocrates broken by squabbles between doctors, nurses and the government.

Trust has been broken. But, the NHS isn’t broken.

The NHS is overwhelmed, under resourced and over-curated. Ignored, parked, messed about with. Fiddled with, tweaked and upended.

But, it is not broken.

Take any set of NHS numbers you like and they’re going south, but it doesn’t mean the NHS’ compass is broken and can’t find its Pole Star.

The NHS belongs to us all. Staffed by us, paid for by us, to look after us. That golden thread, going back to 1948, is not broken.

Only we will decide if the NHS is broken.

If the NHS were an animal it might be one of those pitiful donkeys, in the cruelty-charity adverts, lugging bags of bricks up a hill, day after day.

It doesn’t mean there isn’t sanctuary.

The bond of trust the NHS had with unions is broken. The dependency it has had on politicians, to do the right thing, is broken.

But the NHS is not broken.

We all know that…

… but not if you’re Charmer… who, hiding behind the pay-wall of the Telegraph has declared ‘the NHS is broken’.

His evidence?

A telephone poll by a glitzy firm, of; 1,500 adults, conducted I know not when, which declared;

‘… 18% of patients attending A&E ‘may have done so’ because they couldn’t get an appointment with a GP, ‘in time’.

Ah, says Charmer… the NHS is broken. Ipso-facto-fracti.

‘May have’? Err, what does that mean?


Definition of ‘in time’?


Published polling data-set?


… at the time of writing, not on Glitzie’s web-site. Neither was it on Labour’s Press web-site… last updated a month ago.

Broken Press office?

The views of 1,500 people out of an annual attendance at A&E of over 25 million.

Telephone polling relies on a sample of individuals who have a landline or mobile phone and are willing to answer the call.

Who of us answers cold calls?

It’s usually a scam or that nice prince from Nigeria who wants to put £10m in my bank account… if I’d only send him a thousand quid, in cash, by tea time.

Telephone polls can lead to lower response rates and further bias the sample.

Nobody ‘normal’ answers cold calls.

Phone polls tend to exclude low income house holds… once the interest of the Labour Party and definitely not Telegraph readers.

Pollsters claim they have mathematical jigger-pokery to adjust for bias, the wind direction and the voice of god… but in my view, there’re all sorts that can be wrong with these dinky-do polls.

For starters, how the questions are asked, the order they are asked in.

There’s a thing called social desirability bias; participants may be reluctant to express opinions or attitudes that are perceived as unpopular or socially unacceptable…

… or the other way around. Given the press the NHS has been getting… you can see my point, as the band-waggon trundles past.

Park all that.

Around one in five people may have gone to A&E instead of the GP. Charmer’s answer? Up-end the NHS with ‘reform’.

He wants ‘neighbourhood health services’, not national.

He’s spent too much time with Silly-Boy. It’s contagious. He’s gone doolally.

ICBs are designed around the concept of local people working together.

They have every chance to become community and ‘neighbourhood’.

Labour will make them municipal, oppidian. Labour destroyed Darzi centres, by centralising decentralisation.

The NHS is not broken.

It may have been battered with policy changes, assaulted during Covid and left punched-drunk by strikes, but…

… it is not broken.

It is resilient. Resilient because good people are working to get it back on its feet. Given the time and space to do what we all know it can do.

The last thing we, the public, patients and the people working in the NHS needs is policy by phone-poll and Labour lunatics shouting policy from behind the barricades of a pay-wall.

The NHS does not need to be broken-up, broken down or any thing from Labour’s book of fantasy policy.

It needs a period of unbroken calm, funding and realistic planning.

I now, I’ve said it before…

… like a broken record.

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Reproduced at by kind permission of Roy Lilley.