Opinion

In praise of those on the NHS front line

A reader writes to express her gratitude for the dedication of NHS staff.

Ambulance workers walked out in protest at years of low pay and poor conditions. Image: Oxyman/Wikimedia Commons

Between November 29 and December 8 2022 we had to have an ambulance attend our home three times as my mum had a small stroke (and subsequent falls).

She was hospitalised for a week at the John Radcliffe in Oxford. There are only a handful of times, if we are lucky in our lives, where will we sit in an A&E cubicle watching over our loved as they drift in and out of sleep, and the incredible healthcare professionals that make up our NHS.

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As I sat there, watching as my mum recovered, I was surrounded by people who had come from all around the world to care for us and our loved ones. I cannot thank them enough: the ambulance crews, the A&E nurses, doctors, consultants and the dedicated contract staff who dashed in and out cleaning, bringing trolleys with food and drink for patients (and a kindly smile for us worried relatives) or moving patients from this scan to that X-ray.

However far we have come since the inception of the marvellous NHS, you cannot fault those working at the sharp end of it, day after day.

I had to ask myself, how can they be doing all this while still having to worry about a cost-of-living crisis? I wholeheartedly support their right to strike for better pay and conditions, as it is their last resort. And they are our last resort.

Mel Constantino, Oxfordshire

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