The National Health Service, once the best in the world, is being trampled in the mud and it seems that no amount of screaming and shouting by the bereft population will sway the political will to do anything about it. As soon as a party gets elected, their horizons are blotted out by a large banner saying ‘Make sure you get elected next time too’.

My dream government would try to do what is right even if it meant a short term of office only. What the NHS needs is mainly investment. You can tinker with streamlining services, reducing waste and decimating superfluous administration (please) but money is needed now and staff are needed now and the will to bite the bullet and tell the truth should also come now.

I do believe that a public that was told that a number of pence added to the standard rate of Income Tax would be used only and accountably on improvements to the service offered by the NHS, to increase staffing and bring down waiting lists, would be prepared to grit their teeth and endure the pain.

My writing this has been provoked by a recent conversation with a consultant’s secretary. I had a scan as a result of ongoing problems that I won’t bore you with.

A month later I rang for feedback and to make a follow up appointment. The consultant had seen the scan and dictated a letter which after going to India to be typed would eventually reach me, contents unknown to the secretary (didn’t secretaries once type letters?).

I suggested that I make an appointment ‘so as not to have to wait weeks’ to begin any treatment. A brief shocked silence. Apparently I may well have to wait a year for an appointment in this doctor’s speciality. ‘Whatever the result of the scan?’ I asked incredulously. I was reassured that if my demise was imminent I would be seen sooner.

There are many people in much, much worse pain and discomfort than me, I am merely using my example as a springboard for a wider debate which starts with a desire to restore the NHS to its former beacon status without reference to the short term popularity of the government asking for higher taxes in order to provide it.

If they ring fence it, I have no doubt an increasingly ailing and older population will see the logic and stump up.