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The winter crisis that won’t go away

The NHS faces an historic challenge. An independent body should be given new responsibility for assessing its needs—and the government should be forced to respond to its recommendations

By Richard Murray  

Photo: John Stillwell/PA Wire/PA Images

Once the Christmas decorations have been packed away for another year, it must surely be time for a winter crisis in the NHS and this year the media is full of it. This is no mean feat given the stiff competition offered by the alternating excitements of Brexit and Donald Trump. At least as regards the NHS, is there anything different about this year?

The short answer is yes. In England, December performance against the four-hour standard (which says that patients arriving at…

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