For the past 70 years, one of this country’s most precious institutions has been the National Health Service.

It is something to be proud of and something to be protected – at all costs.

But when private companies are allowed to get involved with running it, there’s a danger they start putting a price on a service which is priceless.

In its wisdom, the NHS Northumberland Clinical Commissioning Group has employed the services of Connect Health to deliver physiotherapy services.

The result: confusion amongst people who rely on the service; outpatients no longer receiving regular appointments and suffering as a result; physiotherapists worried about their future and whether they are going to have a job; concerns that outreach services will be reduced; worries that people might not even see a caring face – just be told over the phone to do some exercises at home.

How anyone can say that this is an improvement is beyond belief.

No wonder people are complaining.

This valuable service should have been left alone.