Star comment: NHS needs to be properly funded and used properly too

There’s not much good news about in the NHS at the moment.

While staff strive to do their best for patients, the system is creaking around them. Today a report raises concerns about bed shortages, emergency response times and poor care quality as well as long waiting lists and waiting times.

The bottom line is simple. The NHS is under-resourced and mismanaged. The services it provides and the quality of them have been eroding over a lengthy period of time and greater commitment is required at the most senior level.

Meanwhile, ambulances continue to queue for ridiculous times outside hospitals, meaning they cannot be on the road picking up patients. In response, West Midlands Ambulance Service is tweaking the way it answers calls, so that if you have a heart attack you may be attended to more quickly. However, those who fall down and dislocate a knee may end up waiting for longer than at present. The system is in a mess.

Another issue affecting us all is the pressure on GP surgeries, the subject of a Star survey launched today.

What is clear is that the status quo cannot continue.

We all want an NHS that is there for us. The NHS needs to be properly funded, but that may mean us all paying more.

Unpopular though it may be, it might be time for a tax rise, with money properly ring-fenced for health and social care. We also all have a personal responsibility to ensure we only use services when we need to. We can all play a part by not using emergency services at non-urgent times.

These are challenging times. We need a properly funded system that is used properly by citizens.


We’re told that broad accents are holding back people from the West Midlands.

It’s nonsense. There are numerous examples of people from the Black Country – or indeed from the likes of Telford, Cannock or Kidderminster – who have gone on to excel, even though they might not speak the Queen’s English.

We must never be embarrassed by a broad accent, nor about our place of birth.

We live in an incredible region with a proud history and a bright future. It is a region that has embraced diversity and has been at the forefront of welcoming people from near and far.

Accents are rightly now being heard among broadcasters across the UK. They illustrate the different talent in our region. They make the United Kingdom a more interesting place to live and the idea that you can’t get on in life because of an accent is daft – ay it.

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