I know people moan about the NHS but I have predominantly good stuff to say about the NHS. Sure there are problems and there could be improvements, which I believe GP commissioning will achieve, but basically it's a great service we don't value enough.
Take the last 24 hours as a great example.
Rachel came home from school with a head injury letter; she'd banged her head on a table when trying to reach her shoes after changing for PE. She had a big lump and bruise on her forehead but was not bothered by it and was very proud she didn't cry.
She seemed fine so I took her to her swimming lesson and heard no complaints.
At bedtime she mentioned a sore head but said it wasn't too bad so I didn't even bother giving her calpol.
Then this morning she woke up with a really bad headache at the back, saying her eyes hurt and that her neck was sore.
I didn't have to think twice. I went onto the NHS Direct website and filled in a symptom checker which said A nurse would ring us.
Within 20 minutes a nurse rang me and went through Rachel's symptoms in a bit more detail and with lots of reassurance told me I should taker her to A&E.
We were at the hospital by 815am and saw a nurse within 15 minutes. She was fantastic with Rachel and us, very happy and positive and relaxed. She again said it wasn't serious but that she'd have a doctor see her to make sure.
At 9am we saw a doctor who was wonderful, with lots of eye contact and conversation with Rachel and facts for us. He did an examination of her eyes and ears and a quick feel of her head and told us she had concussion and to have her rest. He even managed to explain that to Rachel so she understood but was more relaxed than she had been.
We had all of that and never filled in a form or paid a penny or even had to worry about whether we could have care.
This is what the NHS is all about and this is what we need to value. When you're in need in this country, you get care without any questions or debate.
Well done NHS Direct and the Royal Berkshire Hospital.
PS - the art and toys in the children's A&E at RBH are fabulous - great environment.