Hospital staff brighten NHS murk

Peterborough Telegraph's Man behind the mic column by Paul Stainton, BBC Radio Cambridgeshire host -
Peterborough Telegraph's Man behind the mic column by Paul Stainton, BBC Radio Cambridgeshire host -
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It seems that there is not a day that goes by without a negative story about the NHS making the headlines.

From family doctors threatening to quit practice and go private, to workforce planning being labelled inadequate, with up to a third of workers in our hospitals quitting their jobs in the last year, the press for the NHS continually looks grim.

Then of course in Peterborough you have the constant elephant in the room – PFI, the mechanism which facilitated our not so shiny and not so new hospital. A sort of build now, pay and pay and pay later scheme, which anyone with a modicum of common sense could see was a recipe for bankruptcy.

Labour have promised that they will help bring down the PFI debt at Peterborough City Hospital, if they ever get elected, which is a bit rich considering they were the ones that signed the process off in the first place.

It would be like trusting Maggie Thatcher to be milk monitor.

These people must think we are mugs, at the time they closed their eyes and whistled Dixie, ignoring the blindingly obvious and leaving the NHS to roll the weighted dice on a table, tipped in favour of the house.

The Private Finance Initiative sucks the marrow out of our hospital and delivers it gift wrapped into the pockets of those that can easily afford private healthcare; it is a continual millstone around the neck of the folks whose job it is to run the place and keep up morale.

But it is not all doom and gloom in the NHS, no, there is light and positivity too, thanks to the wonderful staff who continually ignore the various problems and just get on with providing incredible healthcare for you and me. I was fortunate enough to meet just a few of those amazing people last week at the 2017 Hospital Heroes awards, medical professionals who had gone above and beyond the call of duty, all chosen by patients atPeterborough City Hospital.

These were doctors, nurses, security staff and porters, ordinary people like you and me, ordinary people who have a calling to care and whatever the circumstance, remain committed to helping others and saving life.

It was a very humbling experience for me to see such selfless dedication laid bare, and to be quite rightly acknowledged by the Trust that they serve.

People like charge nurse Pedro Caetano, who interrupted his own wedding, to say a final goodbye to one of his patients who didn’t have long left on this mortal coil.

Off-duty these people retain their devotion to duty, with midwife, Gerry Wells, even helping to revive a woman at the fair last year after she had suffered a heart attack.

Others had organised weddings for terminally ill patients, helped with extra training for staff and ensured that meal times were fun and enjoyable for their patients; remarkable people, doing remarkable things for others, all whilst carrying out their day jobs too.

Amidst all the negativity, all the issues, the staff, the lifeblood of the NHS, remain a constant beacon for positivity, a beacon that should be cherished and celebrated by us all.