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By Abernathy
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This from a friend on Facebook. I can't put it any better.

In March of 2010 my Grandma Celia was dying. She was moved from an NHS hospital that had tried everything to an NHS hospice for end of life care near Northfield. As I was leaving after visiting her one day I happened to mention to one of the staff that I was glad she had a big window in her room because she'd always liked to watch the birds in the garden.

When we went back the next day the staff had put two birdfeeders outside her bedroom window. Her face was gaunt and thin but I could recognise her instantly because Grandma had her smile again. After two weeks in there, on St Patrick's Day, my Grandma Celia laid down the burden of her years surrounded by her family and lifted by the birdsong she loved.

Nobody paid for the staff to put those birdfeeders there. They did it because they cared, they saw it as their job to care. You only have to speak to someone who works or has worked for the NHS - including both my parents - for five minutes to know how proud they are of working for the common good not for profit, how proud they are they never have to tell someone who is sick or hurt "Your money or your life".

Bevan never said the famous phrase that the NHS will last as long as there are folk left with the faith to fight for it - it's from a TV drama in the 90s - but it's stuck in people's minds because it is a truth. On the anniversary of its founding we must remember that the NHS is both the greatest cause and the greatest effect of civilisation in this country precisely because it is far more than a mere method of funding healthcare. It is a promise each person on our damp little rock makes to every other person on it that when you are sick or hurt, when you are broken and bleeding we will be there for you. And when your time comes to shake hands with the reaper we will not see you cross death's threshold alone.

That promise cannot be counted in pounds and pence. It is worth more than any coin or note or the numbers on a bankers screen. You cannot measure the NHS in money any more than you can measure what the Sheldon Unit did for my Grandma by the cost of two birdfeeders.
For that reason and that reason alone I will never lose my faith to fight for our National Health Service.
Zuriblue, Malcolm Armsteen, Boiler and 5 others liked this
By lambswool
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Before I’d even finished reading the second paragraph of Abers’ post, I was nodding away in agreement and recognition. Several members of my family, over the last few years, have received similar, tender care which has often gone way above and beyond all expectation.

My 96 year old mother died in the early hours of last Sunday in an NHS hospital. I cannot fault the professionalism and kindness of the doctors and nursing staff at Prince Charles Hospital, Merthyr. It’s a bugger of a place to get to but my mother was in the best of hands.

They had fought for her but her time had come. I’ll always be grateful.
By lambswool
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Thank you, Malcolm and Red. I haven’t posted for a while as life has been fraught these last few weeks. Abers’ friend’s account, though, is so poignant and heartfelt that I’m eager to add my two-penn’orth.

These stories need to be shared.
By Boiler
A nice history of NHS achievements both locally and nationally on the screen in the waiting room of my local practice today, which made interesting reading. To my surprise, CT scanners date back to 1972 - and my local practice dates back to my year of birth and was spread across three large old houses. Now it has a level three operating theatre.
By MisterMuncher
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Was at a wake for my 97 year old great aunt last night, who for the last 5-6* years has been in and out of hospital, and was looked after to the last day. Even with the state of things are engineered by government, the service, and it's providers couldn't be better.

*She's been "dying" so many times. My daughter is actually named after her, because she was absolutely, definitely on her way out then, too. Found out last night that happened with three other wee girls in the extended family.
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