Chairman Michael Cochrane opened the meeting at 1030 a.m. advising of five apologies.

Under “Initial Notices” Neil Ramshaw General Secretary gave the second call for the April 30th A.G.M. and stressed the urgent need for members to come forward to fill the vacant Officer positions.

Terry Byrne advised members that he would be doing his A.E.D. talk on April 11th and 15th respectively at the Green Hut starting at 730 p.m.

Today’s Speaker was Mr Jeff Jacklin who had spent thirty years in the N.H.S. at Director level both in permanent and interim roles. His talk “N.H.S.: It Only Hurts When I Laugh” was positioned to both educate and amuse.

He started by sharing some impressive statistics on the N.H.S. which illustrated its enormous size and scale, being the biggest employer in this country and the fourth biggest in the world with 1.38 million employees. The strength of the N.H.S. was predicated on three things namely its Volunteer Base, Foreign Nurses and Doctors and the Goodwill of the Public. An interesting issue arising from surveys he had carried out was that the main issue of complaints (a remarkably small total overall) was Hospital Car Parking.

Jeff talked about the establishment of the N.H.S. in 1947/ 1948 and the bleak situation that preceded its creation particularly for the many citizens who didn’t have the financial resilience to pay for healthcare in times when there was no public healthcare provision in place. The N.H.S.’s main features would be cradle to grave provision; all pay and all benefit and free services at the point of delivery. There were some negative views to overcome from rich people, doctors and the general public itself and these were addressed by Aneurin Bevan the Labour Minister for Health.

Jeff then took his audience through some milestone dates from 1948–1998 which included the birth of the N.H.S. ; Prescription Charges being introduced, cancelled and reintroduced; Polio and Diphtheria Vaccination Programmes to the launch of N.H.S. Direct.

To conclude his talk we were shown the vast amount of paper involved in Patients Medical Records and the need to computerize. Finally some Medical Bloopers brought an amusing finish.

The talk was well supported by slides and video clips and enjoyed by members  as evidenced by comments and questions raised.

The Vote of Thanks on behalf of thirty-five attendees was given by Edward Rowe.




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