It would be bad for the NHS to escape the attention of critics. In an atmosphere of complacency its will to succeed would be sapped. Constructive criticism should be treated with respect. In an undertaking of such magnitude there are bound to be unsatisfactory features.

But some of the critics seem more concerned about scoring points than offering solid arguments. Much has been made about the large number of spectacles said to have been applied for, particularly by old people. Now welfare officers and social workers have for years been aware that large numbers of old people who badly needed glasses have not had them, and that others are wearing the wrong sort because they have not had proper advice. In this way many elderly people have been rendered more helpless than they need have been, and cut off from interests which would have been good for their health and self-reliance. If the new service is helping these people, it is doing excellent work.