In Praise of the NHS

In Praise of the NHS

This post contains collaborative content from a press release by Smart Cells

At the weekend, I had to take Daniel to the local walk-in centre. He has been struggling with a cough on and off for a few weeks and, by Friday night it was sounding terrible and he was really unsettled overnight. We went to the pharmacy but they suggested he needed to be seen by a GP.

The walk-in centre was beyond busy and we had an almost two-hour wait to see the triage nurse. Whilst there people were transferred to hospital, others were being monitored and more and more people were arriving. The nurse called us through and he was absolutely fantastic with Daniel – he made reference to his Paw Patrol sweater and asked him how he was feeling. I explained the problem and if I’m honest, I felt a little guilty at being there – I was sure we’d be told it would just clear itself and we would be sent home. As it was, after a very thorough check over it became clear that Daniel has a nasty ear infection and we were given the necessary antibiotics and sent on our way. The nurse was absolutely fantastic, and despite being clearly very tired and with little prospect of a break ahead it got me thinking about all those people who, as Christmas draws ever closer, won’t be getting a break this year.

My interactions with the NHS have always been positive and, after having Harry, I wrote a letter to my local NHS trust to praise the midwifery care that I had had with all three children. I was fortunate that I saw the same midwives in all three pregnancies (although it was different midwives who attend to help deliver the babies). At every stage the midwives were fantastic and, having had three very different experiences – Doctor led with Daniel as I had pre-eclampsia, a very rapid midwife-led birth with Em, and a home birth with H, each was handled so well by the midwives that I couldn’t complain about the care and attention we had.

The midwife he looked after me has now retired from community care, and she will be sorely missed by the families in my local area. She was an absolute gem, and I remember when I’d gone for an appointment near Christmas when pregnant with Em she was telling me how she always enjoyed working on Christmas day – it was a shift she volunteered for. She was excited to see which babies would be born that day or attending to the home visits for new babies.

A girl I knew from a playgroup gave birth on Christmas Day, and she said that it was such a lovely time; the midwives didn’t complain about having to stay a little later on their shifts to help with the paperwork and post birth checks, and that they still sought to make a celebration of Christmas for her and her partner and the others mums on the ward, despite of course the work they still had to do.

And, when H was born, I remember the midwife hadn’t had a break – she worked past her shift to attend to us and didn’t once complain, instead she shared in our excitement and joy at the safe arrival of H. I love the #thankyoumidwives campaign from Smart Cells. It’s easy to take for granted the care that we receive at the crucial points in life, and its the care we receive in those life changing moments that we remember, and those moments and interactions that make all the difference.


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