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Why it’s time for a Royal Commission on the NHS

The health service is plunging deeper into winter crisis—time for an honest review into what works, with party politics taken out of the equation

By Robert Colvile  

Photo: Peter Byrne/PA Wire/PA Images

When he set up the NHS, Nye Bevan is reported to have said that “when a bedpan is dropped on a hospital floor, its noise should resound in the Palace of Westminster.” Today, it is alarm bells that are ringing—at ever-increasing volume.

The NHS is in the middle of another winter crisis, that most distressing of seasonal repeats. Ambulances are stacking up outside hospitals. A&E departments are running out of corridor space, let alone beds. Tens of thousands of non-emergency operations have been cancelled or postponed to cope with the flood of…

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