The NHS has a remarkable record in providing cost-efficient, effective and equitable care for everyone. Services and staff are, however, currently, under pressure as probably never before which is inevitably impacting on patient care.

The Academy of Medical Royal Colleges has already called for immediate increased resources for social care and overall additional resources. But whilst addressing immediate problems is vital, along with many other organisations and individuals that care about the way healthcare is delivered across all four nations of the United Kingdom, we believe there needs to be an open and honest debate about how we meet the challenges facing the NHS in the long term and how we provide a sustainable health and social care system for the future.

That conversation must involve patients, politicians, clinicians and the public at large because, ultimately,it is for all of us to decide as a nation what service we want and what resources we are prepared to put in to provide it.