Saturday, 5 July 2008

60 Years of the National Health Service

As you may know I'm a nurse who works in the National Health Service and today is the 60th anniversary of the NHS. A lot is said about the state of the NHS now, and a lot of it is negative, and I've been one to say things too. Working within the NHS for a long time I've seen a lot of changes, some good, but many for the worse. Society has changed, needs are different, and it's now difficult to give that free care "from the cradle to the grave" as set out in the original NHS manifesto.

Last week the tables were turned on me and I was a patient in the NHS. I've been having a health problem for a while and went into hospital on Thursday to have a not too pleasant procedure - I'll spare you the details! Previously I'd seen my General Practitioner who took blood tests and referred me to a Consultant at the hospital. I saw her three weeks later she examined me and took more blood and booked me in for the procedure.

Six weeks later I had the procedure, which involved a doctor, two nurses and expensive equipment, plus nurses in the preparation and recovery area. My treatment was very professional, but also very human, the nurses knew patients were scared and did all they could to allay any fears, even a friendly smile helps and there were plenty of them. The best asset of the NHS is its staff, despite much reduced staffing they remain dedicated and caring.

And, I didn't pay a penny for any of the treatment, that's the good side of the NHS and a pretty special thing. So happy 60th NHS, there are a lot of hurdles to get over, it's far from perfect, but let's hope it survives to give free care to the people of this country for many more years.

And the good news for me personally is that the procedure found nothing to worry about, so I'm relieved and happy about that!

No comments:

Post a comment