I went to the dentists last week for a check-up.

I consider myself very fortunate to still have an NHS dentist fairly close to where I live and I make sure to never miss my appointments.

I don’t want to give them any reason to strike me off the NHS list and force me to go private.

But apart from getting a clean bill of health, the visit was interesting, instructive and a little bit depressing for two reasons.

Firstly, while I was waiting, the receptionist took a phone call from a potential patient enquiring if they were taking on NHS patients.

The answer was a stark ‘no’, the list is closed. Despite the fact I could only hear one side of the conversation, it was pretty clear the next question asked if the receptionist knew of any dentists who were accepting new patients.

Again, the stark answer was ‘no’.

After my appointment, the dentist said she wanted to see me again in six months and I relayed this to the receptionist who smiled and said that wasn’t going to happen.

She pointed out that the dentist was trying to take as many NHS appointments as she could but that the absolute earliest I could be seen was September next year.

If the system isn’t broken, it’s fairly close to it.

But it’s not just NHS dentistry, is it?

Let me give you another example. Last week, a friend’s 12-year-old daughter reported feeling unwell.

She said she had a sore throat and a quick look confirmed that her throat and tongue were red and inflamed.

Given the current fears regarding the Strep A outbreak, a call to the doctor’s was made, resulting in a prescription for the antibiotic Amoxicillin.

And that’s where the ‘fun’ started. It took my friend a day and a half to track down Amoxicillin at a little independent pharmacy after trying every other pharmacy in town.

The pharmacist told my friend she was very lucky as he had hardly any left.

But in every crisis there is an opportunity for some with the Sky News website reporting the price of Amoxicillin has risen from 80p to £18 following ‘volatile spikes in demand for drugs’.

This seems like egregious price gouging to me but the government seems quite happy with the Department of Health and Social Care telling Sky News that it is ‘normal’ for prices to ‘fluctuate based on demand’.

The government says there is no shortage of drugs to treat Strep A but tell that to all the people who are struggling to get it or the pharmacists who are losing money on every prescription they dispense.

If the system isn’t broken, it feels fairly close to it.

I could go on: raw sewage routinely discharged into our rivers and seas without penalty; ambulances taking hours and hours to turn up and then not being able to admit their patients into hospital (and this was before any strikes); a hugely expensive but barely functioning rail system (and this was before any strikes); a lack of energy planning which has resulted in people in the UK paying more for energy than almost any other developed country.

A winter of discontent resulting in a raft of strikes that the government says they have no responsibility to mediate; a fractured and dysfunctional political system that embedded lying to the public as a default position and saw Liz Truss appointed Prime Minister on the say-so of a handful of mainly white, mainly male, mainly old people based in the south east of England.

Of course, Truss’s madcap policies had the devastating effect of sending interest rates soaring, ruining people’s pensions and hiking up the cost of mortgages and private rents.

Then we have millions of people needing hospital treatment leaving them too ill to work at a time of a shortage of labour.

We have a massively understaffed care system and agricultural sector. We have been warned there could be energy blackouts, the waiting list for driving tests is unacceptably long (as evidenced by the delay in getting a test at the Northwich centre.

The shortage of staff is hitting the hospitality sector (I’m staying with a budget hotel chain for a few days and have already had an email warning me its service levels may not be up to its usual standards because of staff shortages).

Oh, and for those moaning about generational unfairness because pensioners will get a 10 per cent triple lock rise next year, the government’s own website says a comparison of state pension alone shows the UK providing a lower level of pension than most other advanced economies relative to average earnings.

The UK devotes a smaller percentage of its GDP to state pensions and pensioner benefits than most other advanced economies.

So good luck to pensioners paying their energy bills.

But looking on the bright side, we have more food banks than ever and for the first time in my life, public ‘warm spaces’ are a thing so that’s a good, isn’t it?

It seems like just about everything is in the process of failing or is already broken.

We know full well what the causes of all these problems are, so my question is: how do we fix it?