Today is the 70th birthday of the NHS and I don’t feel I can let it pass without some acknowledgement for how the NHS has helped me. I’m not here to get political (I don’t know enough to do that) I’m here to show my appreciation.
Whilst on the waiting list for my hip replacement I looked into the costs of private surgery which are just not realistic for normal people. I feel so lucky to be living in a country with the opportunity to have surgery on the NHS.
The surgery I had as a child was never going to make my leg perfect, or give me the same physical abilities and opportunities as my peers but I was told that it was going to make it better than it would have been without the surgery. Similarly, I could have struggled on without having the hip replacement but I know that once I have recovered, my life will be so much better for it. I actually can’t imagine how frustrating my life would have been if these opportunities hadn’t been offered to me on the NHS.
Quite aside from me, even just in my closest family, my mum had four children under NHS care, my sister is an NHS midwife, my nephew was born under NHS care, we’ve had vaccinations and (some of us) physiotherapy and cervical and breast screenings on the NHS. None of these things are insignificant. If it wasn’t for the NHS care my dad received when he was rushed to hospital critically ill nearly two years ago, he wouldn’t have made our family Christmas walk that year (pictured below) and he certainly wouldn’t have made his birthday which we celebrated on Tuesday. As well as that, I can’t even count the many other friends and family who have been well served by the NHS due to motorbike accidents, heart conditions, riding accidents, cancer and so much more.
Everyone knows that the NHS are stretched. Even in the beautiful new facility at Southmead it was clear that though their wonderful staff were giving all they could, each body was required to do the equivalent work of many. Nevertheless, I wouldn’t complain. I couldn’t complain! We all owe a lot to those people – I know I couldn’t do their jobs!
On the radio the other day they were talking to a 93 year old man who still has the same left hip that the NHS gave him 70 years ago. If mine lasts even half that long I will be over the moon! Even if it doesn’t, I’ve got lots to thank the NHS for.