The most fantastic institution


A lot is said about our National Health Service. It is under enormous pressure, can’t get the staff and is short of money. These things may be true yet when it works well, which it does for most of the time it is one of the most fantastic institutions in the world.

A few weeks ago I had the misfortune to be bitten by a tick on the ankle. It may have been when I was wandering around a local lake or canoeing on the Coquet. I didn’t feel it at the time nor see it yet I must have scratched it off and unfortunately left some of its jaws in the bite. 

Two weeks later, I was at a party and the bite started to blister and have the characteristic red and white rings known as a bullseye. I thought it best to go and get some treatment and so at 8 o’clock in the evening, I made my way to the walk in centre at the Wansbeck Hospital in Ashington.

There I was seen by two medical staff , who dressed the wound and gave me some antibiotics. On Monday I was back in again, this time to have the remnants of the bite removed, dressed again and get some more antibiotics for a possible skin infection. My third visit was on Wednesday to get checked out by a doctor and told that everything was looking fine but that I should be wary of Lyme disease and if I got any flu like symptoms I should go to my doctor. 

I am on the mend and this isn’t much of a story except that at no time did I think that I wasn’t going to be seen, indeed I could have gone to two at least two hospitals nearby. I know I pay for the NHS through my taxes but at no time did I have to put my hands in my pockets throughout the treatment. Only now, as I have come to the end of my medication I have had time to stop and think about the amazing levels of treatment I received. 

The NHS is the most fantastic institution. We are lucky to have it and should fight hard to keep it.

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