An Open Letter To All Healthcare Professionals

I know that you’ve been getting a bit of bad press lately and healthcare seems like a tough area to be working in, whatever your specialty. From propositions for cuts in funding for student nurses, to the controversial junior doctors contract, nobody would blame you if you got home at the end of each day feeling somewhat disillusioned and deflated.

I want to let you know, that we appreciate you. We are so thankful for you and for the tireless work you put in, day in, day out. By ‘we’, I don’t just mean patients, but patient’s families and friends too.

Thank you to the nurses who looked after Mum. Thank you for affording her so much dignity right up until her final day. Thank you for always being so cheerful and chatty, no matter if we were your first or tenth family of the day. Thank you for talking to my Dad as well as my Mum. Thank you for chatting to us, her children, reassuring us with your smiles and kind natures.

Thank you to the nurses in the hospital when we visited Mum each time. Whatever ward we were on, whatever time of day or night we could always find one of you when we needed you. Thank you for giving Mum so much care and attention even in the early hours of the morning when you would probably have rather been in bed. Thank you for taking the time to talk to Dad, to go through medications and charts with him and give him all the time he needed when you no doubt had other patients to see. Thank you to the nurse who spoke to my brother and I on the night Mum was in a coma – you were rushed off your feet but took the time to speak to us and let us know where you were if we needed you.

Thank you to all the health care assistants. You may think your work went unnoticed, but not by us. We saw what an excellent relationship you built up with Mum. We saw you encourage her to walk again. We saw you help her wash and dress. We saw you provide her with dignity in a truly horrendous time.

Thank you to the doctors who came and visited Mum multiple times a day when she was in hospital. Thank you to the GPs who did home visits multiple times a week when Mum was home. Thank you for not just checking on Mum, but also on us, her family, to make sure we were managing.

Thank you to the GP who came around the day Mum died. Thank you for being so calm and thoughtful. Thank for you being so kind at the end of what must have been a long week for you. Thank you for reminding us where you were should we need to talk to you.

Thank you to all of the healthcare staff who have been there at other times, too. To the GP practice who is always at the end of the phone and who rang me on the day Mum died. You have always been there should I need to talk – whether my ‘named GP’ was in or not. To the receptionists who greet me with a cheery hello every time they see me, even if they’ve just come off the phone to a distressed patient. To the practice manager, facilities manager, and other members of staff who desperately want to improve the (already great) service they offer, and listen to patient’s concerns whenever they crop up, then do whatever they can to try and resolve any issues quickly and with as little fuss as possible.

Thank you to the A&E departments who are there 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Who deal with anything from my brother’s failed attempt at catching a ball, to my severe asthma attacks a few months after Mum was diagnosed. Thank you for always listening to what we have to say and treating us as best you can. Thank you to the paramedics who picked me up over summer when I became unwell, who reassured me and calmed me down when I was struggling and didn’t leave A&E until they knew I was settled.

Thank you to every single healthcare professional who has been there for me, my family, and anyone else in the UK not just in the past few years, but for however long you’ve worked. Whether you’re a porter, consultant, HCA, registrar, GP, midwife, paramedic, cleaner, receptionist, chaplain, or someone else working in a healthcare setting (sorry if I’ve missed some titles out, there are so many!), your job is so important, the work you do is invaluable, and we are so grateful to you.


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