YEP Says, June 17: Reasons to be grateful for treasured NHS

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Let’s not forget how lucky we are to have the NHS.

Let’s not forget how lucky we are to have the NHS.

Surely there isn’t a person in the city who can’t say it hasn’t been good to them. Indeed, to generations of their families, all the way back to 1948 when the then Health Secretary Aneurin Bevan opened Park Hospital in Manchester, the climax of a hugely ambitious plan to bring good healthcare to all. When, for the first time, hospitals, doctors, nurses, pharmacists, opticians and dentists were brought together under one umbrella organisation to provide services that were free for all at the point of delivery. Perhaps we forget that, sometimes. Especially when faced with reports such the one on page seven today. It is only right that hospitals are properly held to account by NHS bosses – or the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman in the most serious incidents – on those few occasions when care falls short of the high standards that patients and their families, have a right to expect. The extremely disturbing case of the woman in West Yorkshire whose lung cancer went undiagnosed until it was too late for effective treatment to be administered, is a shocking case in point.

But the vast majority of patients receive care that can only be described as exemplary - borne out by the number of readers write with gratitude to this newspaper’s letters page.

A city with a spirit for giving

They say charity begins at home.

And Leeds people, it would seem, are among the most generous of all when it comes to looking after their own. As part of our ‘Love Leeds’ campaign local charity chiefs have lined up to thank the people for giving up their time and their hard-earned cash to good causes. In these straitened times, when even fundraising is a tough, tough business, it’s heartening to know that Leeds, for all it’s ‘on the up’ drive to greater prosperity, still wears its heart on its sleeve. From the corporate giants raising thousands to the individual giving pennies, it’s what makes us a city to be proud of.