The NHS at 75

On the NHS’ 75th birthday, rather than going into a long rant – what’s the point? – we all know what the Tories have done to the country in the name of austerity over the last 13 years, and how this has impacted on all our public services, and not just the NHS, I thought I’d re-share this poem I wrote to be displayed in one of the Covid wards at QA Hospital.

I hope it gave some small benefit to someone working there under incredibly difficult situations at the time – and again now through the NHS’ current crisis.


Look at all the grey hulls
lined up in the Solent;
A ship needs every rivet
to stop the sea from surging in.

Stop and take a deep breath.
A jigsaw needs every piece,
a book needs every page,
to make any sort of sense.

Here as with everywhere,
this day can never be won,
by standing on our own.
We fall and rise together.

Trapped in layered protection,
around our brittled light,
forgetting who we are,
forgetting how to see.

A smile behind a mask,
is a crack in the bitter dark,
that will widen, as it always does;
these times will one day pass.

Beyond the cliches of politicians
are real words and thoughts and prayers.
I would bring them to you here,
to your exhaustion of despair,

to all that you have witnessed,
to all that you’ve endured,
to all that you have done,
and all that you could not.

I’d remind you that you’re loved.
I’d remind you that you’re valued.
Just because people are too tired,
too busy or stressed to say it,

doesn’t mean it isn’t true.

First appeared on a Covid Ward a QA Hospital and then on BBC local radio

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