My son was born almost four years ago and one of the things I remember most about that emotion-zapping day was the brilliance of the midwives and staff at the Queen Alexandra Hospital at Cosham.
Through perilous moments they dealt with everything and placed my beautiful boy in my arms. I cried tears of elation, relief and heart-felt gratitude.
In the past week I’ve been back to the QA, this time to the A&E department because of an acute painful illness suffered by a member of my family.
Sadly, the quality of care was woeful…at best.
The list of inadequacies would stretch beyond the sports pages of this newspaper.
A doctor who was unable to take a sample correctly; after six attempts to insert the needle, the doctor finally found the vein, letting the blood seep from the needle and precariously trying to catch it in a small glass vial – spilling most of it on the floor in the process.
This hardly instilled much faith in his ability/judgment.
Patients on hospital beds just waiting in corridors, lined up like buses, for hours as they slowly shunted their way to the front of the queue.
Clearly, some patients need to be seen quicker than others.
But surely there has to be a more humane way of queuing than leaving dozens of sick people rolling around in public thoroughfares – some yelping with pain.
When you look into the eyes of these stricken people, you can sense their pain and frustration.
When you look into the eyes of the medics, you witness a similar sense of panic and frustration.
They are talented, skilled, passionate professionals who don’t have the time or resources to meet their patients’ needs.
I think the NHS is a wonderful system, I really do. But I’ve always believed in doing a job properly or not at all.
Either we provide the resources that are needed to provide genuine sustainable healthcare, or we should look at other options.
Because the half-way house just isn’t good enough.