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We should all salute our brilliant NHS staff

I have just experienced a long stay at Altnagelvin Hospital on a ward in the intensive-care unit. I owe my ability to write this letter to the diligent, professional and sensitive care I received from all grades of NHS staff.

At a time when public funding support from the NHS is under threat, I wish to highlight the massive contribution staff in the health service make to our society. Not only do they cure our ills and ease our passing, but they display behaviour and language which, if applied to other areas of public life, would make society much saner, safer and equitable.

They work on science-based evidence, but view it through caring and humane eyes. They acknowledge hierarchies of knowledge, status and power, but work together where co-operation and mutual dependency are central.

They have their own specialist language, but generally manage to communicate to patients and the public in direct and appropriate manners.

This behaviour and language contrasts sharply with the boorish antics of financiers, senior bankers and economists in recent years.

Their language is foetid, vacuous, repetitive and often meaningless. They assert truths without evidence and make grand claims using the term 'we' to implicate all of us in their mis-deeds. They behave as if theirs is the only way to act and do so without humility or sensitivity. And yet they hold the pre-eminent position in running our society. No wonder things are in such a mess.

I offer my full support to all staff in the NHS and I urge all your readers to do the same.


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