I would just like to tell you of my own family’s recent experience of the NHS.
On December 30, my wife left the house to go shopping.
She had just got to the corner of the street when she slipped and fell on some black ice.
As she fell she heard the bones crack in her hip.
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She lay on the pavement in agony for a few minutes.
Fortunately a gentleman from the block of flats opposite saw her and picked her up and carried her back to our house in agony.
We sent for an ambulance immediately.
The first responder paramedic arrived in about 15 minutes.
He was reassuring to my wife, calmly assessing her injuries within a few minutes and he called for an ambulance at once.
My wife is diabetic and has osteoporosis, so was in some distress.
The paramedic was calm and reassuring throughout and gave my wife painkillers until the ambulance arrived about 15 minutes later.
They too were calm and reassuring and took my wife to the Northern General Hospital A& E department.
On arrival my wife had to wait a short while because at that time of year the department was very busy.
But she was soon seen, made as comfortable as possible, given pain relief and admitted almost at once.
All the staff were very busy because the department was very full but they got on with their jobs without complaint and full of compassion.
My wife was later transferred to Huntsman7 where she is still receiving excellent treatment from all the staff on the ward, including the consultant, all the nursing staff and those who bring her meals.
So when I read and see how our NHS is under a great deal of strain I have to agree, but when I see the staff at work at the Northern General calmly getting on with their jobs, even though they are under so much pressure.
I am full of admiration for all of them and I urge politicians of all parties to get their fingers out and do something now instead of arguing among themselves and playing the name game.
To all the staff who are looking after my wife a big thank you to you all.