AT almost every election we hear how the NHS is cherished and every party claims only they can be trusted with it and the others will lead to its ruination.

Key events this year and next will have a massive impact on the NHS.

First, the Tory leadership contest, then the outcome of Brexit and then the USA Presidential election.

Who wins the Tory leadership campaign will become the next Prime Minister and, unless they hold an election, will be in Downing Street until 2022.

Boris Johnson, so far the front runner for the Tory leadership and as such handed the keys to Downing Street, has had much to say about the NHS.

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On the one hand he trumpeted the claim that Brexit would give us £350million a week for the NHS.

He may or may not have been at the gas and air when he dreamed up that promise.

His other statements include that people should have to pay for NHS services so they will value it more and an injection of private money will help the Treasury too.

If Brexit fails to happen in October and we have an election, Nigel Farage will ‘don khaki and pick up his rifle again’ leading his Brexit party troops into Westminster.

Then a minority Tory Government led by Johnson, is propped by Farage and co.

Farage demands a top cabinet job and a no deal Brexit, in exchange.

Farage is on record stating that there should be an insurance-based healthcare system for the NHS.

Scenario number three: Next year Donald Trump wins convincingly and is safely ensconced in the White House for another four years.

Trade talks are opened with Trump manipulating Foreign Secretary, Farage and Prime Minister, Johnson. They would probably end up being chaired by Piers Morgan, seriously I’m not joking.

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The NHS is then on the table during trade talks as American firms want to profit from our health care.

We then have the perfect storm that puts at risk a service built up over decades.

While it is not perfect, it is far better than the alternatives that Trump, Johnson and Farage would impose on people, leaving millions locked out of healthcare.

The election claims of Labour, The Tories and SNP about the NHS being at risk are hugely overstated and done for political gain.

This time the threat to the NHS couldn’t be more real.