Our health policy editor reveals his highlights from a week of journalism celebrating the health service
Few issues arouse as much interest and concern among Guardian readers as the National Health Service. Stories and comment pieces about the NHS often attract a large postbag and many thousands of reader comments “below the line” on our website. The prompt may be NHS underfunding (or indeed the government’s recent £20bn boost to its budget), the service’s lack of GPs, nurses, paramedics and almost every other type of health professional, or its inability to meet key waiting time targets for A&E care, cancer treatment and planned operations.
That strong reaction reflects the fact that quite a few readers work in the NHS or for a health-focused charity, trade union or thinktank. But it’s also because many of them clearly care deeply about an institution that is not just the country’s most vital public service but also an embodiment of an inspiring set of shared values. The NHS is civilised, compassionate Britain in action, 24/7.