The NHS at 70 – How It’s Impacted My Life

The NHS is a national treasure here in the U.K. Free at the point of need, it’s a constant safety net that when your health takes a dive there’s someone willing to assess and treat you. And they don’t ask for much money from you, if they ask it all.

To put into context how great the NHS is, I thought I’d recount the times the NHS impacted my life somehow:

The NHS was there to treat my sister’s malformed hip.

The NHS was there to save my father’s life after a motorcycle accident where he almost lost his foot.

The NHS was there when I was born by Caesarian section.

The NHS was there to stitch my thumb when I dropped a glass milk bottle as a toddler.

The NHS was there when my mum slipped and fell in the garden, breaking her arm, and I as a toddler went next door to ask for help and the neighbours called an ambulance.

The NHS was there to give me all of my vaccinations that prevent a myriad of debilitating or fatal diseases.

The NHS was there when I needed a home visit because of the flu.

The NHS was there when I cut open my head to the skull when a swing hit me.

The NHS was there to treat my nan’s emphysema, extending her life to see her grandchildren grow up and to meet her first great-grandson.

The NHS was there when my nan’s emphysema attacks forced her into hospital.

The NHS was there to see my nan go to that long good night when her illness finally beat her.

The NHS was there to bring my three nephews into the world.

The NHS was there to vaccinate them and treat numerous child related illnesses they came down with.

The NHS was there to diagnose my mum’s broken foot.

The NHS was there to treat my childhood asthma.

The NHS was there to straighten my teeth and remove a broken tooth.

The NHS was there to treat my mothers broken wrist and provide her with physiotherapy.

The NHS was there to diagnose my brother-in-law’s cancer, and provide him with best in the world chemotherapy to lengthen his stay with us – but, it could not save him.

The NHS was there to treat my wife’s skin condition, and continue to deploy tests and medication to this day.

The NHS was there to treat my wife’s wounds from her skin condition and an accident with a dog lead. Don’t ask.

The NHS was there to treat my chest infections.

The NHS was there to save my father-in-law’s life when his big toe needed amputating due to a complication of his diabetes.

The NHS was there to diagnose my back pain and provide treatment advice.

The NHS was there when I was a first aider responding to a child hit by a car and another time a colleague was bitten by an adder. For the second time.

The NHS is going to replace my dad’s knee and have him walking and driving within 8 weeks from start to finish.

About 99% of what I described above involved no cost to me or those mentioned. Only where there was the flat price prescription fee, or dentist visit would a payment have been made.

I have worked for software suppliers to the NHS and had the pleasure of meeting and working with hundreds of NHS workers around the U.K.

They are a special bunch and the NHS is an amazing, imperfect, but truly brilliant organisation.

Here’s to 70 years of the NHS and may it continue to impact the lives of many more who turn to it in their time of need.


Why Britain Will Leave The EU – The Vote That Changes It All

It has just been announced that Britons will go to the vote, on whether to stay in the European Union or not, on 23rd June.

My prediction is Britain will leave, that Brexit will become a reality. I know this could well be future Claim Chowder.

The Balance of Power

Europe (including Russia) has always been a group of warring and squabbling nations. To keep the peace, Britain, throughout history, has acted to keep the balance of power.

WW II inspired the creation of the European Union. Now, the contrasting opinions, beliefs, and annoyances are clogged by the molasses of EU bureaucracy. The unified identity of the EU also prevents the kind of eagerness for expansion of any one state. It this organisation that keeps peace in Europe.

But, Britain has never needed these kinds of controls. The strength of the Empire that was, and its profile, has left a mark on us. It still makes us believe we have value, and other countries look up to us, because of our power of influence. The Empire has gone, but the sense of leadership it provided has not disappeared.

It’s this lack of a need for a balancing force that allows the UK to walk away from the European Union.


The most powerful method of attracting desire is to deny access.

Will people want to stop emigrating to the UK? Will companies not want to do business inside of, or with, the UK? Will Europe not want to deal with the UK?

My prediction is that, should Britain leave, things will feel different, technocrats will be busy rebuilding treaties and ways of diplomacy, but there will not be a long-lasting slip into negativity.

People want to come to the UK. Business wants to be done in London and to spread across the rest of the UK. The world wants to listen to Britain’s input in world affairs.

We, as Britons, forget this. We have a huge amount of history. The kind of history other countries lack. People want to see it. They love the pomp and grandeur, the iconic landmarks, and the quaintness we take for granted.

People will still want to enter, even more so, should the border become that bit more difficult to enter.

A Question of Sovereignty

Brits like their opinion, their views, their morality, and they like being able to have their laws reflect those views.

But, the EU limits the kinds of laws a member state can bring into existence. This causes disgruntlement with Brussels, a power that the people of Britain have no say over.

Brits follow the rules. Have you seen us queue? For that reason, we feel the full force of this beaurocracy.

The people of the UK don’t like the fact we don’t have full say over how our country should be run.

This is the main hook of my prediction. This is why there is negativity towards the EU in the United Kingdom.

The Weapon Has Arrived

For all those people who have been frustrated by the way the EU has handcuffed the kinds of decisions the public cares about, the arrival of the EU Referendum will be very welcome.

Finally, they will have an outlet for their anger. It will be a protest vote for all the wrong that Europe has done to their opinions.

They will not be swayed by the arguments of fear-mongering the In campaign will come out with.

I can see positives to both sides of the argument. But, my decision is not yet fully made.

But, I think the people will vote Out.

Kieron Heath is a healthcare technology professional, author, podcaster, and lifestyle blogger. You can download his debut novel, The Marsh, free here.