An influential peer has called for the establishment of a Royal Commission to combat the "recurring winter nightmare" taking place in the NHS.
The winter crisis in the NHS came to a head last week when it emerged tens of thousands of non-urgent operations in England were delayed due to pressures on hospitals.
Health secretary Jeremy Hunt apologised for the delays, and Theresa May said the postponed operations were frustrating for patients. However, she said the NHS was "better prepared for this winter than ever before".
Tory peer Lord Saatchi, co-founder of Saatchi & Saatchi, has today urged the government to set up a Royal Commission to tackle the problem, arguing that the public do not trust politicians to solve it.
In a paper for the Centre for Policy Studies, Saatchi said the commission should look at a range of issues facing the NHS, including the ageing population, the use of health data and the extent to which the private sector should be involved in health care.
Saatchi said: "The wonderful dream of the NHS is turning into a recurring winter nightmare - and leaving it alone is a recipe for long-term catastrophe. A Royal Commission can cut through the Gordian knot, and put the NHS on a sustainable footing for the years to come."