Friday, July 11: NHS celebrates its 60th anniversary

PUBLISHED: 16:42 11 July 2008 | UPDATED: 09:16 10 June 2010

AS the NHS celebrates its 60th anniversary, town crier Garth Gibson writes about his own experiences. I am writing this on a beautiful, sunny morning from one of the orthopaedic wards in the Royal Devon & Exeter Hospital. My normal visits to hospitals u

AS the NHS celebrates its 60th anniversary, town crier Garth Gibson writes about his own experiences. I am writing this on a beautiful, sunny morning from one of the orthopaedic wards in the Royal Devon & Exeter Hospital. My normal visits to hospitals usually are by invitation and often to celebrate recovery from an operation. After three false starts - one, another x-ray - two, antibiotic drip feed - three, triple blood test, I had forgotten what the theme for this was, more than those taking part.There are occasional visits which focus on the sick but the real work is done by cooks, cleaners and staff of the hospital. There seems to be a number of staff recognised by their colourful uniforms. It is not always the number of personnel - it is their attachment to the framework of the NHS. For 24-hours-a-day, seven days a week for 52 weeks in the year and an additional day in the leap year, there are staff on duty. The total numbers of patients, both day and residential, add up to the RD&E community.The hierarchy devizes programmes for countless facilities through the hospital. It seems to be an everlasting roundabout of good work and enterprise motivated by those who need patience to become a patient. Much is heard, printed and read by some critical of the teams in our hospitals but it is with thanks that many more have had treatment which has benefited the quality of their life.

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