NHS at 75: 'The NHS made me what I am today'

Beverley Balls

"The NHS is what gave me my unique identity. ".

Beverley Balls, 63, who started her career as a hospital cleaner and now oversees many of the back-office operations that keep Hinchingbrooke Hospital in Cambridgeshire operating smoothly, made these remarks.

She and other hospital employees share why they joined and stayed with the organization they hold in such high regard as the NHS marks its 75th anniversary.

Beverley Balls
The coronavirus pandemic forced Beverley Balls to postpone her retirement plans.

Beverley Balls claims that although she did not do well in school, the NHS helped shape who she is today.

She is one of nearly 1,900 employees at Hinchingbrooke Hospital and currently serves as the institution's estates and facilities administrator.

I had little education when I graduated from high school because I was a rebel and didn't go to class very often, she claims.

"I joined the NHS, and they have rewarded me. I appreciate them for giving me opportunity after opportunity to earn credentials. The NHS is what has shaped me into "me.". ".

Beverley Balls
More than 40 years ago, Beverley Balls began her employment with the NHS.

According to Ms. Balls, she never complains about having to go to work.

There's always something going on, she says, "it's so varied.".

"I believe that my core values align with those of the NHS, which is why I believe I am the way I am. What I observe in the NHS reflects how my family and I would like to be treated. ".

She assists in organizing the "building blocks of the hospital," including malfunctioning dishwashers and showers, and sends out teams of plumbers and electricians to repair them.

Everyone else "wouldn't be able to do their jobs without all these teams," she claims.

She started her lengthy career in the NHS as "a domestic at the old county hospital" in 1980, and later relocated to Hinchingbrooke while it was still being built.

After only one week on the job, she moved to the catering department and was promoted to night shift supervisor.

She recalls, "I was there 30 years," and she is still working at the hospital she adores.

Wei McIver on maternity ward
At the maternity unit where she works, midwife Wei McIver gave birth to her own three children.

Wei McIver, a 59-year-old hospital midwife who originally immigrated to the UK from Malaysia 40 years ago, received her nursing training abroad.

She started working at Hinchingbrooke Hospital in 1983 and later transferred to the maternity unit in 1995 after obtaining her full midwifery license.

She explains that she chose to complete her training in the UK because "nursing and midwifery qualifications in the UK are recognized throughout the world.".

Wei McIver with a baby
Wei McIver, a nurse-to-be student, traveled to the UK from Malaysia.

When asked why she has spent so much time at the hospital, Ms. McIver responds, "Because I love Hinchingbrooke.

Staff members are very supportive and friendly, going above and beyond to provide women with excellent care.

So much so that I decided to give birth on the Hinchingbrooke Labor Ward among my coworkers when I was pregnant with each of my three daughters. Anyone else wouldn't have had my trust. ".

"A fantastic, amazing institution," she calls the NHS.

"The NHS is unique because it offers a free service at the point of care, regardless of your background. ".

She added that she had assisted "countless" mothers over the years and that it was "beautiful" to bring new life into the world. ".

Deputy chief executive, Dr Arshiya Khan
Dr. Arshiya Khan says, "I feel privileged and proud to be a member of an amazing team.

The hospital trust's deputy chief executive is Dr. Arshiya Khan, 51.

"I joined the NHS because I evaluated the level of care I was receiving there," the patient said. The principles and values of the NHS were absolutely remarkable to me coming from a country and background where we didn't have free services," she says.

"That just caught my attention, and I haven't looked back since. No matter how challenging the day is going to be, it always makes it easier for me to get out of bed knowing that I have some truly amazing coworkers who are making a difference in our community. ".

At Hinchingbrooke, she describes herself as "privileged and proud to be part of an amazing team.".

"Over the years, [the] NHS has made great strides, and that's really clear from the life expectancy and how that has improved. So, absolutely well done to everyone in the NHS and the hard work - especially over the Covid years - that's really proven the value of the NHS. " .

She acknowledges that "coping with post-Covid waiting lists, these are challenging times for the NHS.".

But, she continues, "we must not lose the optimism, the principles, and the values of the NHS.

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