The A&E crisis and the supply and demand game- the need for a new politics of health

The NHS truth serum

As an avid teenage fan of Douglas Adam’s Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy I remember particularly enjoying the fact that the answer to life, the universe and everything was 42. And in belated homage to the book of my youth, I’m going to ask the reader to suspend their disbelief and accept that the answer to the current A&E crisis is 35. That’s right, 35 is the single number that can properly explain the meltdown in A&E services across the nation this week. To understand this however you have to understand the supply and demand game that our mainstream politicians indulge in during times of crisis.

We currently have an unprecedented meltdown in our capacity to treat those with serious acute injuries.  This is reflected  nationwide where we hear health professionals warn that the NHS is in “crisis” after waiting times in accident and emergency departments plummeted to their worst…

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