The Kent and Canterbury Hospital

I have 62 reasons to thank the NHS

by Greig Baker

Twenty-eight years ago, almost to the day, my parents were celebrating their wedding anniversary on a family holiday in Portugal.

I was 10 years old and we had just got back from the beach, when I ran through a plate glass window, tearing a huge gash in my leg and severing my nerve, artery and vein.

I don’t remember much of the next few days, when I was taken by ambulance to a series of hospitals for three emergency operations and ending up with 62 stitches, as doctors battled to save my leg.

But I do remember being brought back to the UK as soon as I was allowed to fly and the way the doctors and nurses at Kent and Canterbury Hospital looked after me and my family, helping me – literally – get back on my feet.

This week the NHS turns 70. As an institution, our NHS is above party politics.

Conservative chairman Greig Baker

In 1944 a coalition government of all the main parties proposed plans for the NHS. In 1948 the Attlee government passed the law that founded it.

And since then, the NHS has been run by Labour for 27 years and by Conservatives for 43 years.

In next year’s elections for Canterbury City Council, local Conservatives are promising to fight for a new hospital here – complete with an A&E and maternity services.

We successfully saved our local hospital in the past and now we want to build a new one. Conservative candidates will be campaigning for it, but we genuinely welcome support from everyone, regardless of whether they support another party or none.

The most important thing is that, together, we can deliver the new hospital in Canterbury that we all need.

The NHS has a history that we can all be proud of. If we work together, it also has a future that we can all look forward to. And for now, I am just as grateful for the NHS as I was three decades ago.

Greig Baker is chairman of Canterbury’s Conservative Association

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