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Professional health service staff deserve our praise

One of the first things we taught our children was to say "please" and "thank you". And it really does something for us when we hear children being genuinely appreciative (not just saying it to get what they want). The problem is that as we get older often we lose that sense of appreciation for the many good things we have and kindnesses we experience.

Just 12 days ago my wife had a stroke and after being seen promptly by our doctor at the family practice in Strabane was taken to Altnagelvin A&E department where they were already prepared for her arrival.

She was not only seen immediately but within an hour had blood tests, ECG, cat scan and X-rays done. From the beginning of her stay every member of staff treated us with respect, courtesy and genuine care. Not only did I witness a superb professionalism but a real personal touch when those involved took time to explain absolutely everything that was happening.

I cannot praise enough the consultants, doctors, nurses, physios, assistants, porters, carers for making what was a trauma so much more easy to cope with.

I have visited over 30 countries in the last 40-plus years: taught in rural Africa and lived in the United States and seen how different societies care for the vulnerable, sick and elderly.

I really believe that, with all the pressures and failures that are part of any human system, we have a health service in the north west to be proud of and need to appreciate the wonderful job that these professionals do under severe pressure.

Thanks so much to all in Altnagelvin and our family doctor. It means so much to know we are so privileged.

Clive Johnston

By email

Belfast Telegraph


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