It’s that time of year when you are inclined to reflect and look forward to what the coming 12 months will bring.
One of the events we will no doubt be encouraged to mark in 2018 is the 70th anniversary of the National Health Service.
Plaudits will probably be handed out to those involved in delivering Nye Bevan’s vision over the decades.
But while it is certainly one of the most important pieces of social legislation ever passed, it seems that in 2017 there are problems aplenty – and not ones that can be fixed with a ‘sticking plaster’ approach.
While we are told that the number of staff working in Scotland’s NHS is at a record high, we also hear from those in the frontline that staff have never before been so disheartened and disillusioned.
They want more money – don’t we all, but of far more importance they don’t believe that they have the resources to give patients the proper standard of care needed or deserved.
We’re constantly being told that as people live longer the demands on services to support them are growing. And the NHS is no exception. Whereas before many infections would have killed an elderly person, new drugs are allowing them to recover – but at what cost?
Before politicians hand out plaudits to those deserving, perhaps they should get out of their cosy parliamentary offices and spend a shift on a busy ward. There they will see nursing staff who have gone eight hours without time to stop for food or drink and patients suffering as a consequence.
Is it not time for the NHS to become truly a fully operational 24/7 service?