We are told the NHS is about to go into financial cardiac arrest. The diagnosis will not be improved once the politicians have kicked the institution around the park at their forthcoming conferences. As we are also pre-election, the usual hollow rhetoric of conference season is likely to include a long list of ‘improvements’ designed to save the NHS.

How can the NHS be healed? Perhaps by removing all political interference that leads to unnecessary tinkering. In the pre-election frenzy, the politicians are forced to concentrate on vote-winning initiatives rather than a long-term focus on NHS rescue and recovery. These are promises which might determine the outcome of an election but often have little influence once the campaigning is over.

A BMA survey states three quarters of the public believe the political parties design health policy to win votes. Offering seven-day services might please the wider electorate but most people accept not having weekend access to their accountant or solicitor for routine appointments. Is it even achievable within current budgets?

This column is the view of Dr Mark Martin in his personal capacity and does not reflect the view of Cavendish Medical