“We never hear the good news stories, so I’m sharing mine”

I hate hospitals. I spent two months in one eleven years ago. I nearly died in one.

I lost my belly button in one.

I also spent some time in one this afternoon. A few heart palpitations, dizziness, numbness, breathlessness and I’m being carted out of the office in full view of all my work colleagues with a blanket over my shoulders. Not at all embarrassing.

Also very worrying. Something like that happens and you feel rather concerned. Thankfully there is nothing seriously wrong and I was home after a two hour stay in A&E and a nice cup of tea.

And therein lies the point. There was nothing for me to worry about and all the paramedics, nurses and doctors made that perfectly clear all the way through. What could have been a really stressful time was easy to get through. I felt awful when the ambulance arrived (and looked pretty awful too, apparently) but was immediately put at ease by the first paramedic to arrive who cracked jokes and was natural and friendly from the outset. Everyone else was just the same, from the paramedics who looked after me in the ambulance, to the nurses who first saw me in Forth Valley Hospital, to the volunteer who had a chat and cuppa with me, to the doctor who saw me, checked me over and sent me home. All had a great manner, professional, friendly, natural and reassuring.

The NHS gets a load of negative press about the treatment of patients in certain hospitals and trusts. People queue up to chip in on radio phone-ins to share their own horror stories, making the health service look even worse. All I know is that whenever I have needed them, the NHS have been amazing. They have never been anything less than professional and caring. Even when things went wrong in an operation and I nearly died they cleared up the mess, put me back together and got me back to full fitness.

They are a blessing to the UK. We don’t say it enough, but the NHS is one of the best things about our country. Universal healthcare, free at the point of use for everyone, stretched beyond belief, but still doing the best that they can. Fighting cuts, negative press, creeping privatisation and feminization of their staff, but still most of them put on an amazing service.

It’s not everyone’s experience, but we never hear the good news stories, so I’m sharing mine. It’s only a little thing, but they still do a great job.

Posted on the blog ‘Navel Cutbacks‘ following a visit to Forth Valley Royal Hospital.