07 / 10 / 2014 12.01am
By Charlie Shaw
#Blogtober Day: Tuesday 7 October
A couple of weeks ago, my American friend sent me a link to an article in the Independent (other broadsheets are available) about the findings of a Commonwealth Fund report entitled, ‘Mirror Mirror on the wall, how the Performance of the U.S. Health Care System Compares Internationally’. The report compared the healthcare systems in eleven of the world’s wealthiest nations, including France, Sweden, Canada, UK and obviously the USA. Of the eleven, the NHS was ranked top, and of the nine indicators, the NHS ranked first in all but two of them. The USA ranked last of the eleven countries, despite spending more than double per person on healthcare than the UK.
I circulated the article to my team and some colleagues and said, ‘on those tough days, remember that you are working for, and contributing to, the best healthcare system in the world – you are amazing!’ I was overwhelmed by the response it generated (more response than my emails typically generate, even the really witty ones)! People expressed their pride and passion for the NHS, for the incredible opportunity they have every day to make a difference to people’s lives; ‘at times of basic human need, when care and compassion are what matter most’ (as the NHS Constitution would say). More than that there was a palpable energy, a reinvigoration and commitment to protect the NHS, and to keep working to make it unquestionably the best in the world.
It struck me how powerful just that one email and article had been. How much we unwittingly imbibe the seemingly mountainous levels of negativity that can surround this wonderful, amazing and complex organisation. An organisation that frustrates, challenges and impassions us and how that makes a tough job feel on some days impossible. Equally, if we seek out what is positive (like being ranked first amongst some of the best healthcare systems in the world), then we can find the motivation, passion and joy to recommit to doing what we do best, delivering, as a leading alcoholic beverage would say, probably the best healthcare in the world.
Charlie Shaw is the Senior OD Manager at Hertfordshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust. Charlie loves OD because done well it can really make a difference, and because she believes the best way to look after the people we serve, is to look after the people who work at the frontline. You can connect with Charlie on Twitter @CharlieShaw.