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.
Your support changes lives. Find out how you can help us help more people by signing up for a subscription
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.