TWO stories in this week’s edition highlight major challenges facing the NHS and the difficulty in addressing them.

Our article about an Oxfordshire County Council poster campaign to encourage people to seek help for mental health problems is a commendable attempt to tackle a growing issue.

Cornerstone Arts Centre box office worker Susie Royse is to also be congratulated for speaking out about her own experiences by appearing on the posters.

Mental health problems often go untreated and we hope the information line number given on the posters will help direct people to NHS services that provide a timely response.

With a squeeze on NHS finances our concern is that people will feel encouraged and supported to seek help but then find the complexities of mental health care hard to navigate and waiting times too long.

The budget problems facing the NHS are also laid bare in concerns from Abingdon GP Dr Prit Buttar about the announcement of an extra £1.2bn for family doctors by George Osborne.

He said a reduction in funding to GPs means the cash – for services like chemotherapy and dialysis to be provided at GP surgeries – will not be able to fill the gap.

We hope these fears do not turn out to be founded as moving services out of hospital is a great idea, where possible.