The nhs

What shape is the Treasury in now?

Don’t bring a bottle. Your chances of finding a party in full swing down those chilly corridors are close to zero. At most, you might hear the sound of a distant flute playing a courante by Lully. As Sir Howard Davies puts it in this insider’s view, which manages to be both authoritative and quite cheeky: The Treasury does not cultivate a warm and cuddly working environment. You may well not know if your immediate boss has a spouse or partner, and would certainly never meet them if they exist. Social events are at a premium. Yet this notoriously ascetic culture is not in the least hierarchical. Junior principals are

A matter of life or death: Should We Stay or Should We Go, by Lionel Shriver, reviewed

Leave or remain? That’s the question hanging like a cartoon sledgehammer over Lionel Shriver’s 17th novel. Although she makes merry with the parallels, her subject isn’t Brexit. It’s how long a person should choose to live. Should we allow ourselves to shamble, with gentle optimism, into decades when mental and physical decay are statistical probabilities? Or should we Take Back Control, and off ourselves before revolted strangers are required to wash our private parts at great cost to our struggling NHS? The characters Shriver charges with assessing the options are Cyril and Kay Wilkinson. We meet them in their early fifties as they return home after Kay’s father’s funeral. Slugging

Letters: the NHS shutdown is hurting patients and costing lives

Poor treatment Sir: My recent experience supports Dr Max Pemberton’s view that the NHS is letting down thousands of patients (‘Nothing to applaud’, 30 May). I am a 71-year-old living alone, with no symptoms of coronavirus. For several weeks I have, however, been experiencing severe pain in my left hip. A consultation with my GP diagnosed that I needed a shot of cortisone to reduce the inflammation, but I was told that the NHS was unable to offer clinical consultations due to a focus on the crisis. I was unable to cope with the pain any longer, so my daughter arranged a private consultation and an injection at a cost