All is not well with the NHS

The prime minister returned from his holidays last week to find the humanitarian and possible military crisis in Iraq at the top of his in-tray.

But there’s another crisis developing which may yet have a more profound effect on the government’s fortunes.

There’s growing discontent with what is happening in the National Health Service. People say it’s getting more difficult to see a GP. Waiting lists are growing and experts say cuts increasingly mean A&Es don’t have safe staffing levels.

It’s a growing crisis which has taken many months to develop. The top down NHS reorganisation which costs £3bn has diverted resources and added to uncertainty.

As Mary Glindon pointed out last week, cuts to elderly care are sending more elderly people to A&E and making it harder for them to get the care they need at home.

There are things which can be done to turn things round. Bringing together physical health, mental health and social care into a single service will put the whole person at the heart of care. There will also be a Private Members Bill in the autumn to stop the privatisation of the NHS.

Last week mums from the north east set off to march to London in the spirit of the Jarrow Marchers to save the NHS.

Later in the autumn, midwives may consider taking industrial action. These are symptoms that all is not well in the NHS and the government would do well to listen.