There is an ongoing debate concerning the collaboration of the private sector in the delivery of services by the NHS. As a beneficiary of healthcare in this country, public and private, it must be said; personally, it has been an affirmative experience. My experience: a knee injury was assessed, examined and treated respectively at Western Road Surgery, my GP practice, Queen's Hospital under referral and London Independent Hospital under the CAB option. The list of the persons who sympathetically and competently managed my case is long but Mr Sebastian Dawson-Bowling, who operated on me, warrants special mention. A thorough gentleman; empathetic and communicative notwithstanding the evident demands on his time and, in my opinion, exceptionally compete. The arthroscopy was yesterday and I sit here this morning thinking of an old parable - 'lo! the lame man walks'. One truth seems evident to me: the people on the frontline share an overriding personal characteristic: they recognise that universal healthcare is a societal obligation that defines the profession in the United Kingdom; an immutable underlying raison d'être defining their choice of a profession and their place in society. However, disturbingly, the debate is increasingly featuring narrative with a strident tone, promoting a fault-finding culture and driving institutional mutation, even degradation, to serve increasingly narrow populist views that feed on lack of information, uncertainty, envy and fear. Institutional and political mandates impacting healthcare are evolving and driving change. That is in the nature of things. However, people at large should not allow their understanding to be tainted by vested interest, opportunism and ignorance.