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Why I #loveMyNHS

Dr Nancy Kuchemann, GP at Villa Street Medical Centre and Clinical Lead at NHS Southwark Clinical Commissioning Group

At this time of year, around Valentine's Day, you start to see people tweeting using the #loveMyNHS hashtag - sharing countless stories about how the NHS and its staff have changed and often, saved, their lives, or the lives of their loved ones.

As someone who has worked as a GP in the NHS in Southwark for 12 years it is always inspiring to read these messages. A few things strike me about them, including the range of ways that the NHS makes a difference - often it is lifesaving emergency surgery or cancer treatment but it is also things like simpler, but no less important, interventions on mental health and being treated with dignity and compassion.

This got me thinking about the reasons why I #loveMyNHS. I am extremely fortunate to work with so many talented and dedicated people. This not only includes other doctors, nurses and frontline colleagues like paramedics and pharmacists; but administrators and commissioners, like the ones I work with at my GP practice and at the CCG every day.

They are all experts in their fields and they are totally committed to their patients, their communities, and the good health of both; and we all benefit from their dedication to going that extra mile.

The NHS in Southwark draws its staff from all over the world and the fact that we are able to attract so much talent speaks to the core values of the NHS. These are in fact written in the NHS constitution as: working together for patients, respect and dignity, commitment to quality of care, compassion, improving lives and that everyone counts.

I see these values every day and I encourage all of you this month to share your stories using the #loveMyNHS hashtag because knowing they are making a difference means a lot to the tireless staff who keep the NHS going.