I've been reading, with sadness, the Fisher report on the Stafford Hospital and reflecting on what it says about the state of "our" NHS. I remember my mother telling me how amazing it was when the NHS was introduced and
she could call the doctor when we were ill without worrying about the bill.
I've also been reflecting on my experiences in hospital almost exactly two years ago.
I'll concentrate on three people.
Firstly the cleaner (I wish I could remember her name!) who told me that every single member of staff at this particular hospital
was told that their main aim (call it a "target" if you will) was to make sure that every patient's stay was as pleasant as possible. Which, in her case, meant ensuring my room was as clean and neat as a new pin.
Then there was night nurse, Hazel, who was worried that I wouldn't call her in the night when I was in pain and couldn't sleep. "It's what I'm here for," she said, bringing me mugs of hot, sweet milk
in the early hours and telling me all about her little son at home.
And, finally, there was Margaret, who washed me when I was too weak to wash myself, who went
with me to the operating theatre ("I wouldn't let you go on your own") and who took enormous pride in her care of those she called "my patients".
lifelong supporter of the NHS, I wish I could say this was an NHS hospital but it wasn't. My previous experiences in NHS hospitals had been so awful that my family had insisted I "went private" this time around.
But every hospital could be like this.
All it takes is an injection of pride, a little bit of love - and a lot of caring.