The NHS is 70 years old today. The very good reasons this vital service, that on the world stage we should extremely proud of, is always in the news. Funding issue aside I would like to dedicate this post to say thank you to the NHS for everything.
Firstly, I was born in an NHS hospital. In fact, all my sisters were too. The only difference was that I was born in the maternity ward at the local district hospital, whereas my sisters were born in one of those old-fashioned maternity homes.
Aside from the usual stuff kids see their GP for I also saw mine for a lump on my back. The NHS GP first tried to remove it under a local anaesthetic in his surgery on a Saturday morning but failed. I then had it operated on in the hospital to no avail. Even a brief flirtation with a private hospital operation (perk of a job) failed to remove this damn lump. It wasn’t until I was seen in Leeds General Infirmary when I was 23 did the Greek surgeon manage to remove the damn thing. Well done the NHS.
All out children were born in the same NHS hospital as I was. We’ve visited A&E for various bumps, scrapes and issue over the years but I was especially thankful when our 3rd daughter was in with bronchiolitis when just a few months old. One funny memory of A&E was when Lydia cut her knee open and it took 5 nurses and me to hold her down (she was 7!) so they could inject the local anaesthetic in order to clean it out!
Although when Verity was born we came home the same day, a week later Helen developed some complications and was re-admitted. It was a scary time and I am so thankful to those doctors and nurses for their help then.
Only this past week we’ve used the NHS because Grace cut her toe open while wild swimming. Again, they dealt with it so quick and made it really straightforward.
I can’t fault the front-line staff who, day in and day out, help people with all kinds of issues. They work under incredible pressure and scrutiny that we can barely comprehend sometimes.
But, as someone who worked at an NHS supplier and within the NHS for a short time, I will say that improvement can and must be made. I saw ridiculous levels of waste, and that means wasted money too. Not the fault of the dedicated front-line staff at all, but that of the managers who run the institutions. There is so much that could, and should be done.
I could draw on dozens of stories of our interactions with the NHS and make this a lengthy post that nobody will read. But I’ll just leave it with a simple thank you NHS.