Can a penny cure the NHS’s ‘humanitarian crisis’?

10:08 12 January 2017

The NHS is struggling to cope with rising demand

The NHS is struggling to cope with rising demand


If the UK is hit by an extended spell of cold weather, the crisis could get much worse

A “humanitarian crisis” is not the sort of situation you would expect to arise in the UK.

But those are the words used by Mike Adamson, chief executive of the British Red Cross,to describe emergency NHS care.

His comments followed news that two patients had died while waiting on trolleys to be treated at Worcestershire Royal Hospital last week.

And Mr Adamson revealed his staff are helping out in 20 A&E departments across the country.

While the government has provided extra money for the NHS, it is clearly not enough to meet rising demand.

And although hospitals often struggle during winter, much of December was unseasonably mild.

If we are hit by an extended cold spell, who knows how bad things could get?

Lib Dem leader Tim Farron has suggested people may be willing to pay an extra penny in income tax to fund healthcare – an idea that is surely worth considering.

For all its flaws, the NHS remains one of this country’s finest achievements – and one that is well worth the money.

An extra penny seems a small price to pay to ensure we get the treatment we deserve when we’re unwell.

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