Experiencing both sides of the NHS

5 Jun 2024

Over the last four years I have experienced our NHS first-hand, both as a member of staff working on the frontline and as a patient receiving treatment. As a result I’ve appreciated some of the challenges and frustrations faced by those who work in the NHS on a daily basis and also seen it at it’s brilliant best with the high quality of treatment and care it can offer when you need it the most.

During the Covid pandemic there were times when it was not possible to work in my customers’ homes and instead I worked for the NHS as a Cleaning Team Leader in a Care Home for three months. The work was often demanding, but it gave me a strong appreciation of the important job that cleaning staff do on a daily basis in our NHS facilities across the country. Their work isn’t always fully appreciated but it provides a vital cog in the wheel that helps keeps the NHS going.

Not long after I finished working for the NHS I found a lump on my neck and was diagnosed with cancer of the tonsils and a tumour on my neck. Fortunately I caught the cancer in its early stages but had to have an operation, a six week course of chemo and radiotherapy treatment and a feeding tube for three months. I was lucky enough to get the all clear after treatment and have been able to get on with my life. I was diagnosed early and was able to get the NHS treatment I needed relatively quickly but I know that many people are not so fortunate.

These different experiences of the NHS have taught me many things including a fresh appreciation of my own life and, most importantly, the value contributed by people working in the NHS at every level. The decline and postcode lottery of the NHS under the conservatives has to stop.

Cllr David Kendall in full PPE
David Kendall in full PPE, working for the NHS during Covid

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