From David Cameron’s declaration that you could sum up his political priorities in the three letters N H S, to the commitment to increase the health budget every year, the Cameroons have sought to reassure on the health service. They want voters to believe that it is safe in their hands.

This is what gives the row over the NHS’s 111 helpline number its political importance. Labour, still fuming at how the Tories used the Keogh review to attack its record on the NHS, is trying to use the help-line’s problems to show that ‘you can’t trust David Cameron with the NHS’.

The other problem for the government is that the failings of the NHS’s 111 service will result in more and more people heading straight to Accident and Emergency, increasing the pressure on that already stretched part of the health service.

Tags: David Cameron, Labour, NHS, NHS Direct