We must tackle the economic causes of ill health, says John Bird, and Martin Houghton-Brown praises the contribution of volunteers to the health service
May I thank Sonia Sodha for her insightful piece (The only way to protect our NHS? Set up a National Care Service, 4 July). She offers an important starting point for a much wider conversation we need to have about Britain’s health. At present, the NHS is locked arm in arm with poverty. We will never get over the crises facing the service until we tackle the poverty that underlies the worsening health experienced by a growing section of British society.
This means taking on poverty capitalism and the consumerism that traps the poorest in the worst food options. If you have a zero-hours contract, earning £7 an hour and working extremely long shifts, you don’t have the time or the finances to cook nutritious food or get the exercise you need.