BBC One, Sunday, 20 February 2005 at 22:15 GMT
Do the figures add up? Panorama investigates what lies behind the numbers that frequently make headline news and what is happening to the money being poured into the health service.
The Government has spent record sums on the NHS and the health service is still voters' top concern. Panorama asks whether all that money has made any difference to managers, patients and waiting lists.
"I take things about this hospital very personally, and I'm very loyal to it, I believe in everything that it does," says Penny Thomas, whose job is to manage the out-patients' waiting list at Bedford Hospital.
"Scary and exciting," says the Hospital's Chief Executive Andrew Reed, who bravely allows himself to be filmed going "back to the floor" as he is taught by one of the cleaners how to mop the floors in one of the wards.
They are among front line staff featured in Panorama's real-life documentary. The programme spent three months in a three-star hospital - which puts it in the top 25% of NHS Trusts in England - talking to doctors, nurses, patients, and managers, and finding out what it's been like to live through New Labour's Health Service reforms.
The programme has commissioned two independent national experts, John Appleby from the King's Fund, and Mike Harley from Birmingham University to carry out an exclusive performance audit of the NHS. Amidst claim and counter claim Panorama examines the evidence of change.
Reporter: Vivian White
Producer: Angeli Mehta
Deputy Editors: Andrew Bell, Frank Simmonds
Editor: Mike Robinson