‘Respect, support and defend our health service’

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As our work-worn physiques begin breaking down, those of us in the older generation need to visit a hospital more often than we’d wish.

If we believe the constant barrage of anti-NHS propaganda issued from UK Plc’s ‘privatise everything’ media, then rather than passing through the doors of a hospital we might imagine we’re entering the gates of hell.

Yes, there are long waits in A&E at some hospitals. Yes, some people do spend time lying on trolleys in corridors. On some wards around the country perhaps mistakes are made by staff working exhausting 13 hour shifts.

However in my opinion, all the negative hype and deliberate underfunding has one underlying purpose - to destroy the NHS and replace it with a US-style private Insurance system. Those of us who use the service regularly are fully aware that the NHS is one of Britain’s finest surviving world-class social achievements - the other is the BBC, also fighting on under the same sinister commercial intimidation from corporate-minded Philistine politicians.

So having just returned from another spell in King’s Mill Hospital, what can I report? Did the NHS work for me? The negative aspect is that I had to go to A&E simply because my local surgery had no GP appointments available. I was in pain, yet couldn’t see a doctor when I needed one. The receptionist suggested King’s Mill’s primary care facility. I telephoned the NHS 111 line first to see if my condition warranted my bothering the overworked staff at A&E. After many questions and answers, the nurse on the line decided I should definitely go to the hospital. At 1 pm I arrived in A&E expecting a wait of several hours, but was seen in 20 minutes. Once in the primary care department, I spent 45 minutes with a wonderful, highly skilled nurse who gave me the most thorough examination: blood pressure, temperature, samples taken. Still in pain, I knew I might not be going home. She rang the surgical ward, and within minutes I was being pushed there in a wheelchair. The ensuing 24 hours were a textbook example of medical routine, care and attention. The ward was subject to a cavalcade of honest care. Conscientious nurses, two junior doctors followed by the no-nonsense superiority of the consultant surgeon. Ladies brought tea, coffee and food from the impressive cosmopolitan menu. I was in overnight for observation. I slept well. The pain subsided, I went home. I’ll return soon for a scan.

Therefore I conclude; in Britain’s increasingly unequal society created by the privileged rich, our NHS survives as a true bastion of equality. When that nurse takes your temperature and your pulse, she’s not checking your bank balance or credit card. She’s sharing the basics of humanity; care and compassion. The NHS, created by and for the people, still belongs to us all. Perhaps those initials stand for something else; the National ‘Humanity’ Service. Respect, support and defend it - don’t let them steal our last national treasure.