I've been writing a series of posts (to be continued) on ways to improve postnatal care in order to make those difficult scary first days with your baby a bit easier, or at least not harder, but it has struck me that I should also write a positive post about the NHS and the care we received. Because most of it was excellent.
The antenatal appointments checked that the baby and I were safe. Blood tests were taken using clean equipment and results came back quickly. I had choices over pain relief. Pregnancy bleeding led to a trip to casualty and to the early pregnancy unit where both times we were seen quickly, scanned and reassured. My blood pressure was frequently checked. The baby's heartbeat was often listened to. Had I needed to get to hospital in an emergency I knew I would have been able to call an ambulance. We had scans to pick up and monitor any problems. I had my own room to give birth in and was constantly monitored by midwives determined to safely deliver me a healthy baby which they did, and to leave me as unbattered as possible, which they did. Doctors operated on me post birth in a clean operating theatre using strong drugs and great skill. Midwives and doctors looked after my baby when she was sick in the first few days, and looked after me too. The wards were clean. I was given food. The medicines were plentiful. The most up to date technology was used to diagnose my baby and to treat her. And in the days and weeks and months since the birth every time we have needed to see a GP, we have been able to, all
medicines needed have been free and all hospital appointments have been with experts. Wow.
I have complaints and suggestions for improvement but it's important, I think, not to lose sight that all of this was free at the point of use, available to anyone who needs it and delivered in a clean and safe environment by well trained staff.
So this is a post to balance out the ones about improving postnatal care and to say how grateful I am to the NHS and all who work for it. How lucky we are to have it.
Ways to improve postnatal care #1: Don't call me mum
Ways to improve postnatal care #2: Change the sheets
Ways to improve postnatal care #3: Help us buy the basics
Ways to improve postnatal care #4: Allow partners 24 hour access