From the editor: Health is too important for this to be ignored

A quiet hospital ward. Something you don't see much of at the moment. Picture: Peter Byrne/PA Wire

A quiet hospital ward. Something you don't see much of at the moment. Picture: Peter Byrne/PA Wire - Credit: PA

There's little that's more important than good health. To both an individual and society as a whole.

Health determines so much about the lives people can (or can't) lead. If it's poor that person is less likely to be active, less likely to be motivated and more likely to be depressed.

It stands to reason, therefore, the more people who feel that way, the bigger the impact nationally.

Which is why it's so important to have a fully functional and effective NHS.

And that makes the headlines we've seen across the country this week all the more worrying.

We've no doubt all become accustomed to reading and hearing about the pressures both physical and mental health services are facing.

And I sometimes wonder if we've become a little desensitised to them.

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But in my near two decades of journalism I can't think of a time when so many people have raised such a serious level of concern.

When you have the leaders of every single A&E in the country writing to the Prime Minister about the intolerable pressures they face, it's time to do something about it.

I wonder if we've become complacent and started to take the NHS for granted? So when people hear warnings that we should not be clogging up A&E with minor complaints, do they simply ignore them and head there regardless?

It's worth every one of us remembering how lucky we are to have the NHS in the first place, no matter whether it is working as well as we want it to be.

We've seen great changes in this country over recent years, but have the government ensured this core service has been remodelled and shaped to respond to that?

Do we simply have too many people in this country for our health services to cope? I suspect we all know the answer to that.

I expect that now the issue is being given such big coverage across the country we shall see some sort of review announced to look at what can be done.

And perhaps that is exactly what we need. A year zero approach; it's time to start again.