Tuesday, 12 June 2007

NHS Wonders

Sometimes it takes something awful to happen before you truly realise just how fantastically lucky and privileged you are. Take my example: four weeks ago this coming Friday, a close relative was taken very ill and rushed by ambulance to Intensive Care. It emerged after emergency surgery that the stomach ache she'd been complaining of for weeks had been a tumour in her bowel. Its sheer size ultimately had caused her bowel to perforate and encouraged the contents to swim around her body like mad, resulting in a severe case of sepsis.

Her quick recovery can be described as far as I'm concerned as nothing short of miraculous, and yesterday the improvement in her condition was underlined by a move from the Intensive Care Unit through to the High Dependency Unit, but that's not the point. The point is that the whole time she's been in hospital, she's been under 24 hour watch by a nurse dedicated just to her. Yes, one to one care. And these are nurses who are amazingly on-the-ball and brimming with such intricate knowledge that I mistook the nurse on the first day to be a doctor. In short she's been on the receiving end of care which must have cost thousands and thousands of pounds to deliver, but which has undoubtedly saved her life.

What I am witnessing may indeed be the very top end of medical care, in that this was about as serious a case as it could have got. And a five-bed ICU is indeed only a very minute part of a rather large NHS trust. But to slag off an NHS that provides this amazing level of care for its patients is unbelievably slanderous.

5 comments:

Chairman Mo said...

Damn right.

richc153 said...

Do I take it she was at St George's? In which case, I'm not suprised by the exceptional care since it's one of the largest, most advanced hospitals in the country and even has its own medical university. Hardly something to judge the whole system by...

Chris said...

No, she was at St Helier first of all and was then moved to Epsom General (she, as the ward's wellest patient at that point, was understandably moved to make way for a really rather sick incoming patient). The care in both hospitals has been absolutely top class and, as neither are one of the largest, most advanced hospitals in the country, I'd say it's a pretty good marker by which to judge the entire system.

Glad you're in agreement, Will.

richc153 said...

Although St Helier and Epsom are both university hospitals that both work very closely with St George's to the extent that many consultants work a few days a week at each of the three hospitals...

Chris said...

How can they work closely with St George's when they're in different NHS Trusts? Anyway, I believe you - either way, though, the level of care has been superb and it makes me even more certain that, despite many complaints, Labour has taken our NHS from strength to strength.