“The NHS will last as long as there are folk left with faith to fight for it”
Aneurin Bevin, 1948
This year saw the NHS reach the milestone of 75 years, and the media was full of stories of our beloved health service. Many articles looked back fondly on the founding principles, others have concentrated on the current challenges the NHS is facing, and there has been considerable debate on future of health care in this country. It seems Aneurin Bevan’s words have never been more pertinent and are possibly worth a moment of reflection.
In any fight there tends to be three broad groups of folk; those actively participating in each side of the struggle and those passive bystanders who, whilst might be influenced by the outcome, don’t perceive the need to contribute to the conflict. In terms of the future of the NHS, it seems perfectly reasonable and understandable that most of the population are innocent bystanders – hopefully not really needing to think about the NHS until it’s needed (other than perhaps at the ballot box!).
At Middlewood, we have 160 healthcare professionals and support colleagues who are absolutely committed to the future of the NHS and have the faith to fight for it. We seek to manage the almost overwhelming strain on the country’s healthcare system on a daily basis, and everyone at Middlewood is committed to providing the best possible care they can in the circumstances. In addition, we are privileged to have many wonderful members of our local communities that positively engage, constructively feedback, and express their gratitude on a regular basis. The positive impact of a genuine word or gesture of thanks to health service staff is enormous and keeps us all going!
On the other side of the contest are those who seem to want to fight against a future of the NHS. At a national level, repeated empty promises of additional resources, meaningless workforce plans, and naïve short-term policies have beset the health service for the last 10 years. They have served to raise unrealistic expectations and caused understandable frustrations. And those who are potentially aligned against the future of the NHS need only look to social media to further their cause, armed with comments of criticism, denigration, and humiliation of healthcare workers nationwide.
Interestingly, for any individual who elects to criticise on social media, it is only a short hop to switch sides to fight for the future of the NHS – the gift of kind, constructive, feedback, in the appropriate manner to help improve service, is the conduct of those who have the faith to fight for the NHS. We are incredibly grateful for those who have chosen this route over the years – supporting, championing and enhancing the health service we offer in our community. National level changes of sides in the fight are less straightforward!
So at this Christmas time, we think back over the year that the NHS turned 75 and the ongoing challenges. We have the faith that, with everyone’s support, the NHS still has many more years to celebrate.
Wishing everyone a very merry Christmas and a happy and healthy new year.