Happy Birthday to the NHS
Happy 72nd birthday to the National Health Service!
It is clear that people across the UK take great pride in the NHS. The care and dedication of those on the frontline during the Coronavirus pandemic has been incredible. I want to pay my own tribute to the NHS for the care they have given me over the last two years.
Until my first MS incident I had never required much medical care, beyond occasional doctor appointments and associated medicine. Since July 2018, I’ve got a lot more familiar with the NHS and how it looks after us.
From the initial five-week stint in hospital, through follow up scans, meetings with MS nurses and consultants and treatment, it really is quite a remarkable organisation.
During my time in in the QEUH, I found it fascinating to watch how so many people are involved to make the hospital work. Doctors, nurses, porters, catering, and cleaning staff all play a part. I learned that porters might walk 10 miles a day and only get two days to orient themselves with the layout of the hospital. I’m not sure quite how they find their way around without a trail of breadcrumbs.
Hospital food gets a bad rap but my only minor mump about the QEUH is “so much red meat”. During my stay, I could hear a patient being asked if they needed something to help going to the toilet. Internally, all I could think was “some fibre would be nice”.
The nursing staff do a great job under what must be difficult circumstances. They look after so many patients, some of whom try to escape, and yet work to make everyone as comfortable as possible.
One junior doctor told me his biggest challenge was going into a patient’s room, giving some bad news and then having to reset and go to the next room. I can’t imagine the stress that could cause.
Not every doctor was good at delivering news, or sometimes no news. Whilst going through tests, phrases like “it could be a stroke” or “it might be lymphoma” were thrown at me. Processing those was difficult. Generally, this delivery came from older doctors whereas the younger ones were better at explaining issues. I wonder if years of delivering such news makes it seem very matter of fact.
One I was discharged, MS nurse was assigned to me and she has been fantastic at answering my many questions. Following treatment I’ve had monthly blood tests, some have even happened at home due to the lockdown. I’ve had appointments scheduled for regular consultations.
All of this has given me a renewed admiration and appreciation of the NHS. I used to work for an American company and my former colleagues in the US are amazed that I do not have to claim health insurance for all this care. I shudder to think what the care I have had would cost me under the American health system.
So happy birthday and a massive thank you to the National Health Service. Here’s to many more years, and to you receiving the appreciation and funding that is so richly deserved.