To celebrate Valentine’s Day, Londoners once again share stories of where in the NHS their heart lies, and why the NHS matters to them
“ #myNHSheart belongs to the diabetic service staff at Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust who support me to manage my type 1 diabetes. I was 19 when I was diagnosed and have managed my condition by injecting insulin several times a day ever since. The stresses and demands of my job does not always make it easy to manage but recently I have been able to upload my Freestyle Libre results and have a Skype appointment with the Advanced Nurse Practitioner or Consultant where we can agree my plan of care. Thanks team!
#myNHSheart also belongs to all of the staff across the country who make the health service what it is today. They work tirelessly, regularly going beyond the call of duty and at times, in extremely difficult circumstances. Without their commitment to the cause the NHS would not function and so I want to say thank you for being an inspiration each and every day.”
“London has many wonderful services whether they be hospitals, their local primary care practice or community services so I find it really hard to choose who my heart belongs to. However, if I really had to choose one #myNHSheart belongs to the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery in Queen Square which belongs to University College London Hospitals.
I have a rare chronic form of headaches called Severe Unilateral Neuralgiform Headaches with Autonomic Features (SUNA). Dr Mattharu, Mr Zrinzo, Maha their specialist nurse and the specialist headache service at the hospital simply could not be bettered.
I’m a consultant myself and they are role models for what a great clinical service should look like. They are always there when I need them, have more experience that anyone else in the country, are always researching and building our knowledge base and always know what to do for the best. They show how important London’s specialist hospitals and researchers are to patients with rare diseases.”
“Throughout this past year, the NHS has been there for me as I recovered from pneumonia. So #myNHSheart belongs to three places this year:
#myNHSheart belongs to the Homerton hospital, which I have visited far more often than I would like over the last few months! I was admitted with pneumonia in October 2017 and received fast and very attentive care from their A&E staff. My care in the ICU was brilliant, with one particularly empathetic nurse who I won’t forget. She was particularly great at chatting to my Dad and my friends when he came to visit and putting them at ease in a very alien environment. My care on the ward was good — given the volume of patients and the shortage of nurses — and the physiotherapists were innovative and enthusiastic about helping me. Things weren’t always perfect — they rarely are — but without the Homerton I don’t know what would have happened to me.
#myNHSheart also belongs to two London Ambulance medics who conveyed me from my GP practice to the Homerton hospital last autumn, after my GP determined that my pneumonia was not getting better. The two staff members were attentive, reassuring and very funny. They kept talking to me and explained what was going on, as I was blue-lighted to the Homerton, which helped me to adjust to the incredibly swift change in my evening plans!
And #myNHSheart belongs to my GP practice. Last year, a bad bout of flu turned into pneumonia. When I didn’t get better, even after antibiotics, my GP practice saw me outside of normal clinical opening times and swiftly arranged for me to be sent to hospital. When I had recovered, one of my GPs took the time to call me at 8:30pm at night to make sure I went to my follow-up chest X-ray. I was pleasantly surprised at this level of care but I shouldn’t have been — GPs are at the heart of keeping people well in their communities.”
“ #myNHSheart belongs to all the nurses, health visitors and midwives working across London. Each day they provide incredible care often to the most vulnerable people across our communities. Most will see and experience things that many members of the public can only imagine. This is testimony to how amazing they are. Others will look to Nurses, health visitors and Midwives for inspiration, for courage and for knowledge. Its for all this and for all of the insufficient recognition that my heart goes to my colleagues”
“ #myNHSheart belongs to Alison R., a practice nurse, at the GP practice I belong to in Oxfordshire. Alison is the practice nurse who has helped me manage my asthma, understand much better the triggers and causes of deterioration, and has made me a much more informed patient as a result. She uses simple ideas to improve asthma care generally, ie if I book a review appointment, I am allowed to book two appts together so we will have sufficient time to go through everything, and that helps me enormously.
The practice was rated as Outstanding by the CQC, and it is things like this which make it so. Keeping myself well is so important to me, and Alison’s approach has helped me see my asthma as something I live with and manage, not suffer from. It’s a big difference.”
Read last year’s #myNHSheart stories here