Insight, analysis and expert debate as key policy makers are challenged on the latest news stories. From BBC Radio 4's Today programme.
Pressure on NHS grows amid strike action
Paramedics will join nurses in striking before Christmas, at a time when the NHS is grappling with long ambulance waits, growing pressures in A&E, and a lack of social care beds. Today's Mishal Husain spoke to Anne, whose husband has advanced Parkinson's and has been waiting in hospital for over a month to be discharged into care. She also spoke to an NHS paediatric consultant, who contacted the programme, about the "unprecedented levels" of patients she’s seeing at her hospital. She put these mounting challenges to Health Secretary Steve Barclay, and asked: Is the NHS in crisis?
(IMAGE CREDIT: ANDY RAIN/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock (13644899f))
Are the Christmas strikes justified?
More workers are expected to walk out as demands grow for better working conditions and pay increases to keep up with inflation. Today's Justin Webb spoke to the General Secretary of the RMT, Mick Lynch, who has advised members to vote no to the Network Rail's ballot ahead of the planned two 48 hours strikes next week - the busiest week for hospitality in the UK.
(IMAGE CREDIT: James Manning/PA Wire)
Keir Starmer on reform plans, private schools and the single market
Today Labour is unveiling a report that includes recommending the House of Lords is replaced with an elected chamber if his party wins the next election. Today's Mishal Husain spoke to Opposition Leader Keir Starmer about those plans, private schools and whether rejoining the European single market would boost economic growth.
(IMAGE CREDIT: UK Parliament/Jessica Taylor/PA Wire)
GPs struggling with the health care system
The health care system has been in the news all week. Particularly the long ambulance waits outside A&E departments and delays releasing patients into social care.
The President of the Royal College of Emergency Medicine, Dr Andrew Boyle, told the Today programme: “These problems we’re seeing with hospitals and ambulance emergency services are markers of a whole system problem.”
The GP is often a patient’s first contact with the health care system - how are these issues affecting one of the key front lines in NHS?
The Today programme’s Justin Webb spoke to Dr Rachel Warrington, a GP in Knowle in Bristol and Dr Kamilla Hawthorne, Chair of the Royal College of GPs – herself a GP in South Wales
(Image, GP surgery, Credit, Jeff Overs/ BBC)
My winter walk
The Today programme has asked some well-known voices to tell us about their favourite walks at this time of year.
Stephen Moss, naturalist, author and birdwatcher, describes his 'walk with a difference' along the Somerset coast since suffering a stroke three weeks earlier.
(Image credit: Stephen Moss)
Leicester, in the aftermath of violence
For many years Leicester has been upheld as an example of social cohesion and tolerance.
However this year there has been large scale unrest, with clashes breaking out between sections of the Hindu and Muslim communities.
Dozens of people were arrested and several police officers hurt in September. And what can the police and community leaders do to stop the escalation?
But what's really behind the violence and why is it happening now?
The Today programme’s Mishal Husain spoke to the mayor of Leicester Sir Peter Soulsby and, first, from police and local community activists in Leicester.
(Image, Leicester, Credit Bill Allsopp/Loop Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)
Negative and cynical
Nick Robinson and Martha Kearney are unfailingly negative and cynical about anything the UK government does. Difficult to listen to them. Other presenters are good. Well worth listening to, but skip any interview with Nick or Martha unless you revel in doom, gloom and pessimism.
This program is disagreeing with everything British government does. Please be more positive because the British government is trying their best.