It’s not all doom and gloom: A look back at the NHS in 2013

It’s been a turbulent year for the NHS. They’ve taken some hammering in the media throughout 2013, starting with the publication of the Francis report following the Mid-Staffs scandal, detailing 290 recommendations and sparking a series of whistleblowers to come forward with concerns about their own NHS workplaces. The hard times continued with threats of A&E closures and then, of course, the launch of the restructure in April, one of the biggest and most controversial changes in its history.

But there are plenty of reasons why we should celebrate the NHS, so to add to the festive cheer we decided to dig deep and share the good news stories which demonstrate the value and importance of our treasured asset.

As the NHS celebrated its 65th year on 4 July this year we were reminded of why it remains a national treasure worth protecting. From the first vaccination programmes of the 1950s to today’s ground-breaking robotic heart surgery, the NHS has proved itself as a pioneer of innovative new treatments but also services.

Back in January, Mark Cahill was one such patient to benefit from research and innovation as he became the first person in the UK to receive a hand transplant after suffering years of pain associated with gout and repeated infections in his right hand. His life was transformed by surgeons at Leeds General Infirmary, a leader in this field. Mark spoke out again six months after his operation showing off his news skills and talking of the changes it has made to his life.

The innovation does not stop there, also this year we have seen the successful world-first use of a device to keep a human liver alive outside of the human body and subsequently being transplanted into a patient in much need of a new liver.

Many patients have taken to speaking out to share their good news stories about their experiences in the NHS in efforts to raise the profile of the good as well as the bad. With one million patients being treated by the NHS every 36 hours in the UK, there are countless good tales to be told.

One such tale was Keith Farman, a heart-attack patient from St Albans, who shared his experience of the NHS by writing to the Guardian newspaper, “The NHS just saved my life… At all times I was treated with unfailing care and concern – as a patient and a person. I witnessed a level of teamwork, personal commitment, discipline and professionalism by staff at all levels that I never encountered in 20 years in industry. In most countries I would be dead, bankrupt or dangerously risking a major heart-damaging second attack while I waited for surgery.”

Politicians are very vocal when it comes to the NHS when trying to win the public’s vote, and while we may not always agree with them here’s a little nugget from Jeremy Hunt which is hard to disagree with, “In 65 years, the NHS has done more to improve people’s lives than any other institution in our history, and its excellence makes us the envy of the world” Hear hear!

The Aurora team love to tell NHS stories that really matter, so get in touch if you want us to help tell yours…

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