St Helier Hospital and the NHS. Thank you

This will be brief, but I want to make a serious point. Today, Kirsty and I had a run of incredible, caring, empathetic and timely service from the NHS.

The boy had a temperature of 104. We phoned 111 and got a call back very quickly. We were booked into see a GP at a walk in. They let us refuse the first offer as I’m never going back to Mayday in Croydon if I can in any way avoid it.

We got to St Helier in Sutton and were swiftly seen by a careful GP, who managed our expectations well. Aidan had a non scary (eg meningitis) virus and we had done everything right. He figured Aidan would be OK, but as we were on hospital grounds, why not check with Paediatrics?

15 mins later we were in the department, being seen by a specialist nurse. 3 hours later following diagnosis and treatment, we were home, our bright eyed, independently minded boy very much back.

Aidan had been so miserable and unlike himself. It would have been very easy to panic. We both almost did.

Except the system worked well and everyone we dealt with was not just professional but very human as well. This was the NHS that Danny Boyle celebrated at the Olympics; the one that has put me back together multiple times following sports injuries and the one that looked after Kirsty in the run up to Aidan’s birth and then both of them afterwards.

We are lucky to have what we do here. I’m very grateful for the professional skill and human kindness shown to my family today.

So enough sniping at the core of the NHS. It will always cost a lot, and it will always be right that it does so. Make it better by all means, but don’t attack it’s heart; health care professionals that rally do care.

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