Dear NHS: 100 Stories to Say Thank You – Adam Kay

Published by: Orion
Pages: 408
Date released: 09/07/2020
Date read: 10/07/2020

Created and edited by Adam Kay, DEAR NHS, features household names telling their personal stories of the health service. Contributors include Joanna Lumley, Naomie Harris, Kate Tempest, Lee Child, Tanni Grey Thomson, Bill Bryson, Trevor McDonald, Jack Whitehall, Michael Palin, Stanley Tucci and many, many more.

The NHS is our single greatest achievement as a country. No matter who you are, no matter what your health needs are and no matter how much money you have, the NHS is there for you. In DEAR NHS, 100 inspirational people come together to share their stories of how the National Health Service has been there for them and changed their lives in the process. By turns deeply moving, hilarious, hopeful and impassioned, these stories together become a love letter to the NHS and the 1.4 million people who go above and beyond the call of duty every single day – selflessly, generously, putting others before themselves, never more so than now.

They are all heroes, and this book is our way of saying thank you.

After weeks on my pre-order wishlist, I received this book and had read it cover to cover in less than 24 hours.

I myself have unfortunately had much experience with the NHS, both with family and my own ongoing illnesses. I’ve had experiences with the Otorhinolaryngologists (Ear, Nose and Throat to you and me), Ophthalmologists (eyes), allergist-immunologists (doctors that deal with Asthma, amongst other things), Gastroenterologists, and most recently, Neurologists. For the past 28 years, whenever I have felt ill, I have been able to visit a GP, an out-of-hours injury centre, a hospital or A&E department knowing that they will do their utmost to make me better, without first asking me how I was going to pay for my treatment.

My love and appreciation for the NHS and everyone involved has always been of the highest level, but it is sad that it’s taken a global pandemic for us as a country to really realise what we’ve got. It’s true what they say that you don’t realise what you’ve got until it’s gone. Okay, so the NHS hasn’t ‘gone’ as such (thankfully!) but we took it for granted. We took it for granted that these doctors and nurses would make us better, not thinking that they could potentially be putting their own lives on the line to do so.

As much as I want things to go back to normal as soon as possible – and fingers crossed that looks like it’s going to happen within the next 8-12 weeks (touch wood – I’ll do anything to stop from jinxing it), I don’t want the NHS to go back to normal. I want it to be better. I want the staff to be paid more. Their salaries need to match what they’re doing – keeping the country alive. I want hospitals to be better equipped with what they need, so people experiencing deadly conditions don’t have to wait for equipment to be available before they can be treated.

And most importantly, I want our country to continue to show the support we’ve given it in the 12 months for the next 12 years, the next 120 years, for as long as the NHS can keep going, we need it to, and we will appreciate it for every one of those days.

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