The National Health Service is one of Britain’s most prized public services, something we all have a stake in and that we all may have need of at various times in our lives.
It is a recurring subject in the pages of The News — we regularly carry both good — and bad stories about our own healthcare services, and in particular, Queen Alexandra Hospital.
That made headlines in our own paper, and nationally, last Friday, because of the shocking news that 28,000 X-rays were not reviewed by expertly-trained technicians.
Although people sometimes contact us with stories of negative experiences at QA, there remains a well of goodwill towards local healthcare services. We have had a great response to our We Love QA campaign. Many people have been eager to praise the hospital’s doctors, nurses and other staff for their professionalism and dedication.
We also receive a regular flow of letters from readers praising the hospital.
There is bound to be good and bad in any large organisation.
But what matters most to people, as the results of our Big City Survey clearly show, is that the NHS is properly funded, enabling it to provide the excellent care that people need.
The fact that a significant majority would pay an extra penny on income tax to fund better healthcare speaks for itself: The NHS really does matter to people.
We make no claims that the results from our small survey could be extrapolated to wider significance, but there surely here a message here to politicians that people care deeply enough to want to pay more to protect the NHS for themselves and for future generations.