Best medicine for our doctors and nurses

PUBLISHED: 11:08 07 May 2009 | UPDATED: 16:02 11 May 2010

IT WASN T the best bank holiday weekend ever in my household. This is mainly because my better half and I were both struck down by illness. Don t worry readers, neither of us were diagnosed with swine flu, but the future Mrs Gooding had (and still has)

IT WASN'T the best bank holiday weekend ever in my household.

This is mainly because my better half and I were both struck down by illness.

Don't worry readers, neither of us were diagnosed with swine flu, but the future Mrs Gooding had (and still has) a particularly nasty dose of tonsillitis, while I spent much of Sunday in bed feeling sorry for myself due to a bout of food poisoning.

But as we recovered from our ailments, it did strike me how lucky we are in this country to have our National Health Service.

The NHS seems to be constantly under fire over waiting lists, or superbugs, or the various inefficiencies which afflict it at every level, but on a practical level my opinion is that is actually works fairly well.

For example, when we phoned the out-of-hours doctor on Saturday about my girlfriend's tonsillitis, they called us backed within half an hour and we were booked into a health centre for treatment less than 30 minutes later. Considering it was the weekend and there were only a couple of doctors available to cover the whole of Cambridge, I reckon that's pretty good going.

My other experiences of the NHS over the years have been similarly positive, and while it would be wrong to try and suggest that it is a perfect system, I think the staff are generally competent and do a good job under the circumstances.

With the threat of a pandemic looming on the horizon, our doctors and nurses are likely to be under increased pressure in the coming months, so it would be nice if the national media and the public at large could lay off them for a bit.

I realise the cost of living is constantly on the rise at the moment, but prices are beginning to get out of control.

Yesterday I went into one of the shops in Royston High Street to buy a small chocolate bar, and was charged a whopping 68 pence. That's right, 68 pence! Given the size of the bar in question, that roughly equates to 17 pence a bite.

Sadly rising prices are not restricted to confectionary. My football team, Cambridge United, reached the Conference play off final by dispatching Stevenage Borough in a thrilling match on Monday.

We now face Torquay in the final at Wembley Stadium, and this will undoubtedly be a great occasion, if we win that is. However I will have fork out £30 - £35 for the privilege of seeing some of the countries worst professional footballers do battle for 90 minutes.

To me this is a scandalous amount of money. How are parents supposed to be able to take their children to Wembley when even the most insignificant of games cost so much to attend?

Unless something is done to regulate prices, a whole generation of youngsters will miss out on the thrill of seeing matches live, and this would be a great shame in my opinion.

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