As I was leaving work today, I took a second to pause and read some of the cards that are pinned up near the entrance to our ward. These cards are from patients and the relatives of patients that we’ve had on our ward. There were four new ones that I hadn’t seen before. Two were from former patients and two were from the relatives of patients who had recently passed away. The thing that struck me while reading these cards was the sensitivity that was expressed and the gratitude that was shown to the nurses and to the doctors who had looked after people during their stay. I felt genuinely touched that people had taken the time just to say thank you.
The NHS gets a bad rep in the press and from the public at large. But, to be honest, all the stories of neglect, of uncaring staff, of MRSA and dirty wards are not at all what I see. When I meet up with my non-medical friends and they start repeating bad press stories like this to me, I tell them that I wish they could come onto a ward in an NHS hospital. I wish they could just spend an hour or two on the ward talking to the patients there and just ask them how they felt about the way they’ve been treated. I’m confident to say the vast majority of the patients would say that they’re very happy with their treatment and it’s a shame that the good experiences don’t get anywhere near as much press as the bad ones.
Last year, my father had to be taken into hospital and I have to say that I couldn’t ask for anything more from the health professionals who dealt with him. The paramedics, the A&E staff, the surgical doctors and nurses were all fantastic. It was strange being on the other side of the service, but everything got sorted out and he was treated with the utmost care and respect. I was glad.
A recent news article showed that, in fact, the vast majority of people were happy with the care that the NHS provides, and that seemed to be borne out by those cards pinned up near the entrance to our ward.