A day at the opera(tion)

The dear old NHS has come in for plenty of stick lately – today’s report on reforms the latest in a long line of bad press ( The Guardian: NHS reforms criticised by leading healthcare publications ).

Hospital entrance sign
NHS: Here's to your health
So with great pleasure I can report that my first ever operation procedure in the middle of my sixth decade was an extremely positive experience. True, the surgery was a no-nonsense Hernia procedure which these days is completed in one day. And the way I was treated by the wonderful staff at Hackney’s Homerton Hospital made me feel like a million dollars. From the receptionist who booked me in, to the wonderful nursing team, anesthetist and surgeon, an experience that I was not looking forward to turned out to be painless and worry-free (although I’m pleased to have been given painkillers for the after-effects!)

Here was the NHS at its very best; a group of superb health-care professionals who worked as a team ensuring my comfort and well-being and despite the pressure they work under, always had a time for a smile and a reassuring word. And they represented all that is good about our society, a wealth of nations represented on both sides of the operating table, giving and receiving care. This is what we pay our taxes for, so that we can be given help when we need it and that help is not provided on the basis of wealth, status, colour, creed or background. Compare this to the ‘show us your credit card’ model of healthcare in the USA and tell me which is superior.

So thank you to the staff at the Homerton; despite all the problems in the NHS with funding and reform, you proved that on the ground it is a health system of which we can be immensely proud.

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