As I have mentioned in this column before, my wife is a kidney transplant patient. The mortality rates at the start of the pandemic were terrifying. She shielded and, of course, I did all I could to avoid it.
One month ago, she tested positive for Covid. It was no more than a bad cold and now she is completely negative with no longer term symptoms. We completely understand that she is one of the lucky ones.
But ‘lucky’ feels like the wrong term to use. Because there are a number of reasons why there have been (touch wood) a lack of major consequences for her.
First, she has been quadruple vaccinated, each time at the GP practice. Second, on the day her PCR test (provided at home by the NHS), she received no less than seven phone calls from her GP practice, her renal team and UCH, which was providing the antibody treatment. The following day, we went to the hospital to receive the treatment. And finally, with the help of the NHS and the support of the GP practice, we have been able to avoid the more severe strains.
None of which is to say I necessarily agree with the Prime Minister’s strategy of just ‘dealing with it’. To me, this seems like a far more politically and economically driven strategy than one done with the best interests of patients, especially those who are vulnerable.
However, I do feel that – at a time when GPs are receiving unwarranted criticism, and secondary care has been overwhelmed – patients should acknowledge how incredible the health service has been. So that is what I am doing. Thank you, all.
Jaimie Kaffash is editor of Pulse. Follow him on Twitter @jkaffash or email him at email@example.com