Views & Reviews If I Ruled the NHS

Ask every job candidate about care

BMJ 2015; 350 doi: (Published 16 April 2015) Cite this as: BMJ 2015;350:h1759
  1. Chris Holcombe, consultant breast surgeon and cancer lead, Royal Liverpool University Hospital
  1. chris{at}

The NHS is a national treasure giving unparalleled healthcare at the point of need, regardless of patients’ ability to pay. Multiple injuries in a road traffic crash, an emergency caesarean section: the NHS is there. It is an organisation to which we have dedicated our lives, in which we often work above and beyond our contract and beyond what can reasonably be expected.

So why are so many of the stories in the news about failure, and particularly failure in care?

We are constantly bombarded by conflicting demands on our time and energy, and eventually we reach the limit of our capacity; …

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