Why I love the NHS

July 22, 2011

Someone once said that when the NHS decides there’s something wrong with you they leap into action and it’s then you start to appreciate its beauty. Ultimately, all any of us have is our own experience to inform us. So this post is about mine, and my family’s, experience of the NHS.

As I’ve said many times before, I was hospitalised in the US when I was pregnant, so I do have experience of the American healthcare system – private room, countless tests, $100k bill, etc.

But while the US hospital looked after me while I suffered from hyperemesis, it was my own, local, British hospital that diagnosed my pituitary tumour.

It was the NHS who looked after me when I had a miscarriage.

It was the NHS that delivered my son safely.

It was the NHS that saved the lives of both my son and my nephew when they were toddlers.

It was the NHS that repaired Man of the House after he was knocked off his bike.

It was the NHS that diagnosed my uncle’s cancer and made his final year as comfortable as possible.

It was the NHS that gave my mum a knee replacement, which has given her a new lease of life.

It was the NHS that fixed my sister’s arm after she suffered a serious accident.

It was the NHS that put my mum back together after she fell.

It is the NHS that is currently caring for my friend who is pregnant with twins and at risk of premature labour.

So, those are my reasons to be grateful for the NHS. I’d love to hear yours.

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  • If I Could Escape July 22, 2011 at 9:43 pm

    It’s what I’m probably going to miss the most.

  • eileen haveron July 22, 2011 at 8:05 pm

    I feel lucky to have the NHS. No, it’s not perfect but when you are at your lowest ebb, it’s a blessing to not have to worry that you can’t afford to have treatment. I ended up rushing to A&E when my son split his face open yesterday and they were just so very very good to him. We were seen within 5 minutes and all steristripped back together within quarter of an hour. When my Nan was dying of lung cancer, they cared for her. When my son was born early, they cared for us both. When my mum was taken into hospital on her 62nd birthday with a heart condition, the paramedic who rang me to tell me she was ok and not to worry was a Godsend. I love the NHS and am proud to come from a Country that has provided healthcare for the whole society.

  • Sarah O'Neill July 22, 2011 at 7:31 pm

    Yesterday a wonderful team of doctors and nurses operated on my nearly two year old son to correct his squint and improve his vision. Whilst only a routine procedure I feel so grateful to have an health service like we experienced available to our family. A similarly wonderful obstetric team brought both son and his four year old sister into the world with first an emergency, then planned c-section. Thank you for everything you do and have done for my family.

  • Tracy/mumto2boos July 22, 2011 at 7:01 pm

    I love the nhs. I have never really been ill myself but have had friends and family that have been and there care was first class.
    I had my two children in hospital and had lovely births with all the help and care that I hoped for.
    My dd my first baby,had major heart surgery at 5mths old it was the most stressful time of my life. But the care we got then and now is fabulous. If we had to pay for our care I dont know what we would have done. We are all very very lucky to have the nhs long may it last.

  • Michelle Porter July 22, 2011 at 6:59 pm

    Too true-we are very lucky

    M X

  • Jo Beaufoix July 22, 2011 at 6:46 pm

    So many reasons. My babies, the care my Grans’ and Mr B’s dad received when they were beyond further help. My Auntie’s breast cancer. Misses E and M’s skin issues and various ailments. My nieces and nephew and nephew/niece to be due in Sept.

    Saving the life of my friend who is the only adult in the UK with Pulmonary Haemosiderosis, and then constantly working to keep her alive. We’re 3 years on and while she is still very ill she is also still here and the support she’s had from her consultant and his team has been amazing.

    And, today my referral came through for what I hope will be a life changing experience. We might moan about the NHS but omg I’m so glad it’s there.

    Great Post Madame Liz McPouty

  • Lu T July 22, 2011 at 3:17 pm

    The NHS has looked after many members of my family, but it’s fair to say we have never been more grateful than when I lost three litres of blood (that’s half of what we’ve all got)after having an emergency c-section with my second baby.

    They did indeed swing into action, with a full theatre team available within 30 minutes and afterwards round the clock care from, count them, two midwives, and an anaesthetist.

    They spoon-fed Baby because I wanted to breastfeed. The next day, consultant started the steady stream of people who came to check on me. She even apologised that she couldn’t operate personally becuase she’d been called away to another emergency.

    Once I was out of the high dependency unit and on the recovery ward, the midwives told the other mothers in hushed tones, “You should hear what she’s been through,”.

    And while some would say they caused the problem (something wasn’t stitched up properly during the emergency section) that doesn’t matter to me. Because they fixed it. Them and the generous people who gave blood so that I could have it when my life hung in the balance.

    Two years and eight days after all this happened, recounting the story still makes me cry.

    So I’d like to add my thanks to the NHS and people everywhere who give blood. WIthout them we’d be a one-Daddy, two child family.

  • Ka Hang Leoungk July 22, 2011 at 2:18 pm

    Fortunately my only NHS experience so far has been registering at my local surgery and having the cervical smear, but I take great comfort in knowing that the NHS is there- the benefits far outweigh the faults.

  • fenngirl July 22, 2011 at 1:31 pm

    Seven years ago this week the NHS saved my son’s life when he was born not breathing. The midwives and the student midwife came in early for their shifts to see if we were both OK. I will never forget how moved I was by their kindness and support.

    I had breast cancer three years ago. If it wasn’t for the care and treatment I received from the NHS, I wouldn’t be here today. There were some things that went wrong, but overall, the care was wonderful and I will be forever grateful. I am still receiving treatment for the psychological effects of what happened to me and although I’ve had to wait a long time for it, it is first class treatment.

    I also work for the NHS as a librarian. I am proud of my clinical and non-clinical colleagues. They work hard and care deeply for their patients. We must all fight to protect and improve the NHS – our country would be a poorer place without it.

  • Another Goldfish July 22, 2011 at 12:53 pm

    Unfortunately I use the NHS a lot, and I’ve had really good experiences and really awful experiences. But you know what, I’ve had really good and really awful experiences in the United States as well. People tend to think of medicine as being a facts and fixed, when really it’s more of an art. It depends on the people and the situation, no matter where you are.

    I love the NHS. Yes, you sometimes have to wait for treatment…but not when you really need it. And at least you aren’t left worrying about who’s going to pay for life saving surgery. My parents have brilliant insurance in the States, but they still rang up my Mum the day before Dad went in for triple bypass surgery to say they weren’t going to pay for it. (Luckily my Mum was able to call my Dad’s employer and they argued with the HMO on her behalf, but that wasn’t a stress she needed.)

    At the moment the NHS and the National Blood Service are very close to our hearts and my husband and I would passionately defend them tooth and nail. For in March they saved my life. I was rushed to hospital with a ruptured ectopic pregnancy. I lost 4 litres of blood and received 12 units of blood & frozen plasma from the National Blood Service (Our sincere thanks also goes out to anyone who donates blood!)

    The hospital & EMTs were brilliant! They were compassionate, efficient, creative and skilled. The NHS is something we all should be proud of.

  • Rosie Scribble July 22, 2011 at 12:30 pm

    If it wasn’t for the NHS I wouldn’t be here today. Nuff said really.

  • Amanda @ Having Fun July 22, 2011 at 10:20 am

    Thank you. I’m an NHS worker and sometimes I feel guilty by association when the NHS doesn’t get it right. Be assured that we ground level workers are literally working our socks off, for a modest wage, very few breaks and often not great working conditions. I believe completely in the ethos of the NHS. I accept it doesn’t always get things right, but I certainly think we should fight tooth and nail to keep it. It’s one of our country’s greatest assets.

  • Rachel Gully July 22, 2011 at 10:02 am

    There are so many people who are quick to shoot down the NHS. I spent 4years working for the NHS before I had my children.

    If it wasn’t for the NHS neither my baby or myself may not be here now. I am grateful to the doctors and midwives who looked after me during my 4 admissions in pregnancy. I’m grateful to my consultant who told me I was not going home until delivery (although I wasn’t at the time). I’m grateful to the 2 midwives who that very same night rushed me to labour ward after I started bleeding heavily. I’m grateful to my consultant for delivering my daughter safely. Without the dedicated, friendly staff, my 6week hospital stay would have sent me crazy!!! Thank You NHS!

  • Lynne July 22, 2011 at 9:20 am

    Thank you so much for these lovely comments about how the NHS has helped you and your families, they have brought tears to my eyes. As an NHS staff member who has had a rubbish week thanks to abusive and rude patients, its lovely to know people are grateful and thankful for tbe service we provide.

  • Nicki Cawood July 22, 2011 at 9:04 am

    Why I appreciate the NHS? I have pcos and associated fertility issues. I have literally spent years trying to get pregnant, and it has been a struggle. My family is now complete but I am ever grateful for the help and support I have received with all of this.
    I am grateful for the compassion and care when a much wanted and fought for pregnancy sadly ended.
    I am grateful for my GP who recently rushed my 7m old to hospital with suspected meningitis. Luckily it wasn’t meningitis but the fast actions of the GP, ambulance service and the hospital would have gone a very long way to literally saving his life had it been.
    I am grateful for the early scans I received with both pregnancies, the reassurance that these pregnancies were going to be ok made a huge difference to me.
    I am grateful to NHS direct who helped when I fell in pregnancy.
    I am grateful for the care Roy received just last week when he had major surgery.

    I am grateful that should myself or my family be in need, we can get much needed care without worrying about cost and to be honest, yes I have the same worries about the NHS lack of funding etc but I can honestly say you will have to look far to find such dedicated staff.

  • Mummy and the Beastie July 22, 2011 at 8:43 am

    People very often don’t appreciate all the good the NHS provide, just focusing on negative stories (which of course their are). I am a nurse in the NHS and when the letters of recognition come in, it boosts moral. It’s just a shame the complaint letters outweigh the compliments…

  • Anna July 22, 2011 at 8:35 am

    As someone who works in the NHS it is lovely to read this post and feel appreciated! There are fundamental problems within this organisation – lack of funding, inexperienced management etc – but, for the most part, the staff work as hard as possible and give as much time and care to each patient as possible. Yet we very often only hear negative feedback and horror stories, especially in the press. It’s nice to read something positive for a change!

    • bobbie wright July 22, 2011 at 11:47 am

      Fantastic post and well said Anna. As a fellow NHS employee your comment is spot on x

  • Amy and1moremeans5 July 22, 2011 at 7:50 am

    The NHS safely delivered all my five children and they saved me when I had a placental abrubption when I was bleeding out.

    Without them and their wonderful staff I wouldn’t be here and maybe one of my children wouldn’t have made it either.


  • PippaD @ A Mothers Ramblings July 22, 2011 at 7:19 am

    I really appreciate the NHS and my local hospital, I am very grateful for two deliveries of healthy babies, diagnosing my husband (and MIL I suppose) and looking after my Mum. Even working out what was wrong with her when the illness she has is so uncommon only one Dr in the whole of the UK is able to diagnose it and decide treatment. The care they gave my Step-FIL when he was dying and support they gave my MIL was amazing.

    Oh and I am very grateful for them plastering my arm up when I was 11 too.

  • Stacey July 22, 2011 at 7:16 am

    Thankfully no serious health problems, but two babies delivered safely and aftercare for me is reason enough to be grateful!