Bad news always shouts louder

Today it is 65 years since the start of the NHS. Nobody appears to be in the mood for a party. But perhaps we should be celebrating.

The NHS - no acronym in our lifetime has taken up more column inches in the media over the past few months, and not much of it flattering.

Yes, the media are only doing their job. The public has a right to know about the botched surgeries, the four hour wait in an ambulance outside the doors of A&E, the cover-ups. Of course this situation cannot continue and change is vital.

But as the politicians and NHS managers grapple with who is to blame and what are the solutions to these problems, we mustn’t forget that for every bad patient experience, every avoidable death and every damning report, there are hundreds, nay thousands of shining examples of where the NHS has saved or improved lives.

The fact is that bad news is far more newsworthy than good news. Unless prompted, people are more likely to offer a complaint than a compliment.

Let’s not forget that today, thanks to the NHS, we are all living longer, we are less likely to die from cancer and heart disease and, thanks to national vaccination programmes, the childhood diseases that plagued our grandparents’ generation are largely eradicated.

Despite all its imperfections, the NHS is still our country’s most treasured possession.

It was there when most of us took our first breath. We should all hope it will still be there when we take our last.