“THE NHS is safe with us”. “No topdown re-organisation of the NHS”. Those empty promises were but two of the many disingenuous statements promulgated by the leading member of the “Chipping Norton set” prior to the last general election.

A recent telephone call to Derwent Surgery was enlightening in some respects and infuriating in others. My call was answered by a robot. I then spent an interminable time listening to ear-shattering music interspersed by a variety of robotic messages. The most telling message being. “We are sorry, our company is experiencing a high level of calls”. Company?

So there we have it, despite everything we are told by the Raisa’s jockey and his fall guy, the hapless Andrew Lansley, the NHS has now taken to describing itself as a “company”.

Confirmation of the demise of what was once considered to be “the envy of the world” was complete when a human being eventually informed me that I would be required to wait five days to see a GP.