THE NHS hits the news on a regular basis but never more so than during the lead-up to a General Election.

This noble institution born in a blaze of idealism and triumph to a wartorn nation striving to improve the people’s health and create a healthier population.

And as everyone knows it would not have happened without the Labour Party. But fast forward to 2015.

A very different Labour Party and a very different NHS. In fact we no longer have a National Health Service.

We have a national sickness service in which the vast majority of funds are spent on acute care and very little on prevention. And the Labour Party? Is that recognisable now?

Nye Bevan created an NHS fit for the 20th century. Where were his Labour descendants when the NHS was crying out to be made fit for the 21st century?

They were busily setting targets, unquestioningly injecting shed loads of funds into financing a tired old model with no attempt at all being made to expose and challenge any of the profligacies and inefficiencies of an ever burgeoning and ravenous system.

Worst of all though is that the Labour Party did not undertake a critique of the NHS and focus upon developing a health system rooted in prevention and the location of facilities expertise and resources within local neighbourhoods and communities.

Of course excellent specialist acute provision must always be available but these acute centres within this new framework would experience nothing like the levels of burden of disease they struggle with today.

The late Derek Wanless was commissioned by Gordon Brown in 2002 and 2004 to review the NHS and recommend on policy change.

Sir Derek reported that without vast changes to the system involving a radical re-orientation towards preventive and public health the NHS would be completely overwhelmed by 2022. Ridiculously these reports were shelved.

The Green Party is the only true heir to Nye Bevan who worked on the principle that prevention is so much better than cure.

The Green Party places good health at the very centre of its policies and will work to create a society in which each individual family and community will thrive and grow.

Angela Mawle, prospective Green Party parliamentary candidate for Southampton Test.