In recent weeks my family has cause to be very grateful to the NHS.  We both form part of the group considered by some politicians to be expensive, pensioners which the government regards as an unaffordable luxury.  I find their reasoning very curious, by far the majority of pensioners are spending their money in the UK economy; income tax, council tax, food bills, rent, gas and electricity, clothes and entertainment.  Most of us have no millions to put in an off-shore tax haven, our pensions go directly into paying for the goods and services in this country.  Many of the older generation are also carers, caring for partners, adult children, grandchildren and volunteering in the wider community.  Yes we have a free bus pass, where would the bus companies be if we stopped using the buses?

Medication and treatment for ageing bodies are free at the point of need, as they are for every citizen, as the great reformer  Nye Bevan  founder of the NHS said:

” Illness is neither an indulgence for which people should have to pay, nor an offence for which they should be penalised, but a misfortune, the cost of which should be shared by the community.”

But this is only part of the story.  Adult Social Care must be cut back, it must feel the harsh wind of austerity; no cups of tea, no help in getting dressed, no trips to the toilet, no hot meal during the day.  This frail old person who would like to leave hospital and spend what precious days are left in the familiarity of home.  This cannot  be, no family member is left, no neighbours have time, no carer can be paid out of the limited social services budget.  So a hospital bed becomes a prison with only one release possible.  and another individual goes on in pain at home.

 A very few have a secret hoard of money buried deep in a dark place where no revenue man can catch a glimpse of it.  It buys power, not health, not affection, not regard and not peace of mind.  A society where everyone has a decent house, a good school for their children, a job and a regular income and a just legal system; is a stable, peaceful society.  A society where everyone, including the super-rich, pays their taxes is a society which benefits EVERYONE.  A well established health care system FREE AT THE POINT OF NEED provides sufficient health care professionals, hospital beds, continuing care at home for all those who need it.  The paradox is we none of us know when that will be, it may be tomorrow or 50 years hence.  Are we going to follow the USA example that health care is only for the very rich?  At the moment it looks as if that is the road we are on.


7 thoughts on “BLESSINGS ON THE NHS.

  1. Dear Liz…I know so much about all of this, and please dear God don’t let us follow the American way. I lived and worked in the States for 28 years, from 1966 til 1993…and unless you had lots of money the health care was/is not good! I was born in 1946, just before the blessed gift of the NHS was given to us, and I do remember a very kind, gentle society, which has gone out of the window because of greed! I have been the carer at home and then overseeing nursing home care for my Mother for the past nine years..(she died on the 15th December) and what I saw in our system was not good. The carers and nurses do their very best, but the people who run the private homes are in it for the money….very American. My Mother was not a wealthy woman, but like so many, she and my Father, having fought in WWII, had worked and saved all their lives and had a nice home, – the funds from which paid for her care…..All funds are now gone. Her fees per month were just shy of £5.000 for the first four years, and then £3.400 for the last two….and even when I was caring for her at home for nearly three years, the expenditures were high. We must all stand together against what I see as a very frightening foe – i.e the Trump mess. There is no question that the Americans are already muscling in on our NHS and under Trump – well God help us all.
    Keep writing dear Liz…you express yourself so well…sending love and wishes for good health. Janet. xx

    1. Dear Janet, thank you so much your comment. I have no experience of living in the States, just some information from a friend who lives there. It is good to hear from someone who knows how things work there. I’m sorry to hear about the loss of your mother, it must have been a stressful time for you. I do so agree with ‘ the Trump mess ‘ we seem to be in danger of losing our Welfare State and that would be a very harsh world to live in. I’m afraid of the world we are leaving to our children and grandchildren.
      I am very interested in family history and the way things were a hundred years ago when my grandparents were young. Living conditions we would find intolerable and it looks as if with the present housing crisis some young people are finding a decent home impossible to achieve.
      Thank you for your good wishes I hope life is treating you well. Liz xx.

      1. I am beginning to breathe again, because as you say it has been stressful at time….I am hoping that when I get my life back in order that I can write more on the subject of heath and social care in the UK and the terrible dangers of allowing other forces to come into our system and completely destroy it. I am grateful for what I have and hope that you are doing well….Always lovely to see you here. Janet.

    1. Thank you so much Snowbird, I felt about ready to explode, so it was safer to write it all down. I am very interested in history but it seems some people forget very quickly. I’m very lucky that the Welfare State arrived when I was 10 years old, I hope we can rescue it for the next generation.xxxx

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