Passing through the streets of South Kensington last Tuesday on a visit to Brompton hospital,I realised that so many of the dedicated nurses and junior doctors would never in their lives aspire to live in that part of town.This influx of dedicated humanity flood into the national heart hospital from varied us boroughs around the capital ,giving of themselves to their patients and supporting a whole army of careers too.This community ,encased within this affluent enclave of London reminds me of just how much we rely on national centres of excellence.With it’s nearby cancer centre of Royal Marsden,the blue transport sign directs you from the un derground at South Kensington to these centres of healing where we’ve come to expect miracles.Yes,we know they are only human,but their capacity for research,new techniques and medicines seems to carry on apace amidst the city rush and sea of moving humanity.When your inside the hospital,your tied up in the fragile lives of the patients as each one has a story,an authentic one of survival.
Over the years,and I have been visiting Cardiac centres for over 30 years now ,I’ve noticed the augmentation of their charity arm,from Great Ormond Street,down to Southampton,and further afield to the West Country at Truro.It appears that money is always in short supply,and the very success of medical research fuels a never ending need to fund care at the basic level.
Sitting in the cafe at Brompton,you get a feel for the same faces,those hardy souls battling CF or chronic lung disease and you see their endeavours in life and it stops you in your tracks,as we all tend to moan about our lot.When the sun goes down at the end of the day,the staff are still there,and,to me,as a close observer of cardiac consultants over the decades,they haven’t been told that ,at the moment,they only work a five day week,because I can vouch to their 7 day a week working patterns and their willingness to go the extra mile to stabilise their patients,allowing them dignity and a measure of strength to carry on with their life.
If these good people took away their goodwill from our NHS,then we would surely be in a sorry state,and our hospitals would grind to a sad halt.Yes,the hospital that I visited is a national centre,but I feel it vital to give a shoutout to these places where we expect miracles.You know,those “water into wine”,type events ,the last chance saloon of mortality, those new techniques developed by our most capable of people.Those people with mothers and fathers,those women juggling family life and all it’s challenges,yes,special people who still have the mundane tasks to do that we all do.
By writing these words,pressing publish on this WordPress ,I’m reminding myself of what a gem our NHS is ,because without it ,so many of our loved ones wouldn’t be here and that salient fact shouldn’t be ignored when we hear of dedicated ones resorting to food banks and the like just to survive.
Hospitals can be depressing places,I agree,but they are also places where hope resides,where good people give of their skills for the furtherance of their fellow man and what a true joy that is to witness.
When you see a person receive life saving surgery and just look at their faces,that is a truly wonderful thing,and I wanted to acknowledge the work of all those in hospitals up and down Great Britain tonight.