If you think this is about money, it’s not. If you think this is about the hours, it’s not. If you think this is about us, it’s not. This is about you, the patients, ie: every human being who currently resides in the United Kingdom. If the NHS goes under, we will still have jobs – there will always be sick people. In fact, we’d almost certainly get paid more.

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How can a government get facts and figures so wrong?

Fact: the NHS has functioned all the way through because of good will. Even stuffy consultants give everything they can to the NHS. The patient always comes first and many hard-pressed consultants work long hours and come in to the hospital when they are not on call – they are available 24/7.

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In late August 2012 my life was well and truly changed. I was diagnosed with renal vasculitis and during the 3 years that have passed since then I have moved from being someone who had a successful career working in the NHS to someone who now has a ‘patient’ label attached – being cared for by my colleagues in the NHS.

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I had never spent a day in hospital. I get the odd winter cold, I was in the military for 13 years so super fit. I eat a great diet, have never smoked a cigarette in my life, never done drugs. Use my GP for annual smears and contraceptive pills and the odd prescription of antibiotics.

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I became infected with HIV in 1985. My partner at that time was one of the first people to die from AIDS in the UK. I was 24 years old, and spent the next ten years hoping and praying that I had not been infected. Almost ten years to the date, at the age of 34 I became ill with shingles, and my GP suggested I went for a blood test. Not only was I HIV positive, but my CD4 (immune fighter cells) count was < 8!

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“Organisation, re-organisation and re-disorganisation” is what the Kings Fund once described as the disease of the NHS. Every new government has a new health minister, who has his own ideas of revolutionising and fixing the NHS. This is despite various objective independent surveys showing that it remains the best and most efficient health system in the world. Lord Darzi was keen on polyclinics, an idea recycled from the 1970’s Soviet Union, while Andrew Lansley’s health and social care bill shifted responsibility for allocating the NHS budget to GPs.

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