The battle for the thermostat in my house resumed this week. One of mine turns it up, I turn it down.

The season is changing. Winter is coming. And with it, enormous pressures on an already bursting National Health Service.

This winter brace position can feel over familiar in our politics but this an historic moment.

Hospital consultants and junior doctors forced out for a 24-hour strike.

In Bury, medical care as well as urgent and emergency services are already judged as requiring improvement, according to the Care Quality Commission report in December 2022.

Crucially, it’s these services that will be impacted greatest by strikes when you most need them.

Bury Times: NHS strikes are ongoingNHS strikes are ongoing (Image: PA)

For the first time in NHS history, consultants, nurses and hospital staff are walking out together.

This has to be a wake up call. It underscores the urgency of their experiences and the critical state of the NHS.

It isn’t long ago we were applauding them from our doorsteps. They deserve our loyalty now, more than ever.

We are told to expect staffing levels as if it were a typical Christmas day.

Almost all routine care will be suspended, leaving only the lifeline of emergency services operational.

Joint replacements and procedures that risk significant blood loss, will be reserved exclusively for the most pressing cases in September and early October.

The president of the Hospital Consultants and Specialists Association union, paints a dire picture: "These strikes are a matter of life or death for the NHS.”

Negotiations between the government and unions advocating for hospital pay have repeatedly hit a brick wall.

Since Sunak became Prime Minister, waiting lists have further surged by 724,000, soaring from 6.96 million to 7.68 million, leaving record numbers of patients enduring intolerable delays for vital healthcare services such as surgeries, ambulances, and A&E treatments.

Sunak's inaction on the NHS strikes has only exacerbated the Conservatives' backlog crisis.

It's not simply a matter of pouring more money into secondary care.

The problem lies in the failure to reform adequately. We currently spend exorbitant sums treating diseases that have been diagnosed too late.

Consider this: 4.5 million people visit A&E each year because they can't secure a timely GP appointment.

Labour will rescue, recover and rebuild the NHS.

We’ll train and retain thousands more staff and implement vital reforms to restore it to full health.

We’ll drive urgent treatment numbers down with a focus on community and preventive care.

An NHS fit for the future is central to Labour's vision for a better Britain.

Our commitment to the NHS forms one of the five missions that will define the success of the next Labour government.

Look no further than the last Labour government's track record, which delivered the shortest waiting times and the highest patient satisfaction in history.