Waiting in Chairs


I love the NHS. I even work for it. It is a glorious and supremely ethical institution. Nye Bevans’ whole philosophy of healthcare free at the point of delivery is something to be celebrated and treasured.

The man who brought the health service into being was Aneurin Bevan, a Welsh miner who became a Labour politician. Nye Bevan was handed the responsibility for healthcare and housing by the new prime minister, Clement Attlee, in the first post-Second World War government.

Bevan fought passionately for the NHS. In parliament on February 9 1948 he urged ministers and doctors to “take pride in the fact that, despite our financial and economic anxieties, we are still able to do the most civilised thing in the world: put the welfare of the sick in front of every other consideration”.

But like all bureaucratic institutions it has its moments of madness. This afternoon I went with Son 3 for an outpatients appointment. We waited on the waiting room chairs for half an hour to see the Consultant.  He decided that a further test would be helpful so we waited another half hour for that. No problem there.The Birth of the NHS

Then we waited again and went back in to see the Consultant and to arrange for some surgery. Next was the booking in bit. That meant waiting on more chairs to see a nurse, then more chairs to see someone for a pre-op assessment. We have seen an awful lot of chairs.

Bu the genius underneath it all is the care and the technology. For son 3 this means they will construct him a whole new eardrum. How amazing is that? The Surgeon explained how he will do that. with diagrams. They will cut into his face at the top of his ear and use some of the skin from there to make a new eardrum.Its both scary and awesome at the same time. We thought we had just gone for a review today following an operation last summer. I think we had both conveniently forgotten that this might be a possibility and expected a quick in and out visit. So the chairs were a surprise.

But on those chairs we had time to reflect. Son had time to consider the options and make a decision. We caught up with each other about Life. We talked about holidays and families and University. He told me his plans and told me off for scratching my skin. sometimes nowadays it takes an appointment or a car ride to have time to connect, the boys all have busy lives and so do we. But it is always good to have some time. So thank you Chairs for the opportunity. Thank you NHS for being there.


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