DR Phil’s Health Revolution Tour arrives in York on February 27 when Phil Hammond, NHS doctor, BBC broadcaster, Private Eye journalist, activist and whistle-blowing comic, plays the Even Better Comedy night at The Crescent.

Hammond will be presenting his two thoughtful, topical Edinburgh Fringe shows, Sort Yourself Out and Sort Out Your NHS, rolled into one, covering such subjects as staying sane, dying with dignity and saving the NHS.

Hammond has been an NHS doctor for 31 years, a comedian for 29 years, a BBC broadcaster for 28 years and Private Eye’s medical correspondent for 26 years, helping whistleblowers to tell their stories. He qualified as a doctor in 1987, was a part-time GP for 20 years, spent five years in sexual health and now works in an NHS team helping young people with chronic fatigue.

He presented five series of Trust Me, I’m A Doctor on BBC2 and has appeared many times on Have I Got News For You, The News Quiz, The Now Show and Countdown.

In the first half of Health Revolution, Hammond ponders what we can do to sort ourselves out as he looks back on his 54 years and considers how he has apparently managed to remain sane in a family with a strong history of depression and suicide. Is he lucky, ignorant or merely yet to be diagnosed?

York Press:

Dr Phil Hammond: "The NHS was built on love but is now run on fear," he says

“Can you prevent at least some mental illness by being kind to your mind?” he asks as he considers deaths in his doctoring and his family, some too soon, others too drawn out, and ponders the case for both resisting and assisting suicide. “Is it possible not to kill yourself before your time, yet die gently when your time comes? Laugh, think about sanity and plan your exit,” he says.

In the second half, Hammond sets about saving the NHS. “Our most prized asset is being ideologically and incompetently destroyed,” he argues. “The continuous political disruptions of the past 30 years are themselves a leading cause of death, as a public service for the sick is being reduced to a business opportunity to trap the elderly and worried well.

“The NHS was built on love but is now run on fear, and the stressed-out staff are often sicker than the patients. Services are being starved of funds, run down and sold off. Waiting times for the mentally ill are sadistically long. The government has placed a Do Not Resuscitate order on our NHS without telling us. But it’s not too late to remove it.”

What would Dr Phil’s cure be? “It’s time for a bidet revolution. From the bottom up,” he says. “Life is for living, not medicalising. Live well, with a minimum of medical interference. Treat illness, don’t create it. Put evidence and empathy before politics. Ditch the market, cherish the carers, support the junior doctors, fund the frontline, avoid the harm, stop the waste, kill the fear, tell the truth, inspire, collaborate, recover, laugh, love, shout and reclaim our NHS. Are you in?”

Tickets for Hammond’s 8pm show are on sale on 0113 376 0318 and at wegottickets.com/event/416082 or on the door from 7pm.