Intended for healthcare professionals

Views And Reviews Acute Perspective

David Oliver: Is NHS “candour” on a break for winter?

BMJ 2017; 356 doi: (Published 10 January 2017) Cite this as: BMJ 2017;356:j146
  1. David Oliver, consultant in geriatrics and acute general medicine
  1. Berkshire
  1. davidoliver372{at}

Winter seems more difficult each year in NHS acute care, and 2016-17 is no exception. Vocal public support from national leadership bodies would be a welcome New Year gift. It would certainly beat attempts at news management to limit reputational damage and appease politicians’ reported wishes to keep hospital crises out of the headlines.1

Looking at NHS performance statistics,2 media reports of clinicians’ tales from around the country,3 or statements from their medical colleges and societies,45 it’s been more like the Apocalypse than the Christmas story. Demand for urgent care is high, …

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