The leader of Preston Council has told of his admiration and respect for NHS staff ahead of his impending surgery.Advertisement
Councillor Peter Rankin is due to undergo an operation to remove a brain tumour.
In an emotional message he has thanked many people for their best wishes and shared his experience of Royal Preston Hospital.
He said: “I would like to thank the many people who have wished me good luck for my imminent surgery – personally and through email and Twitter – even those who don’t agree with my politics! I have been overwhelmed by people from every creed offering prayers, kindness and thoughtfulness. Thank you.
“As a regular cyclist and walker, I have been a very healthy person up to last month so my knowledge of Royal Preston Hospital has been very limited. I have been lucky I suppose – certainly in the last few years.
“Our health service is so busy. When I had my appointment recently I was so struck by the amazing amount of work, the kindness, the smiles, the spirit, the encouragement, ability to listen and the skills shown by so many staff including nurses, doctors and consultants. Also really helpful and friendly reception staff, cleaners, porters and volunteers. Everyone.
“A few days earlier I was taken into A&E by a couple of kind and clever paramedics and there was a very busy department tirelessly and calmly working. Set against a lack of government funding for health, the way the hospital has been able to staff this A&E deserves a lot of admiration.
“We have a superb NHS. I am a politician so you’d expect me to say this, but the UK, the 6th richest country in the world, must put more money into supporting what is probably the best organised health service in the world. And pay their staff properly.
“Of course the government should be funding more training and ensuring that in time there will be many more UK doctors and nurses; but we must recognise all those amazing skilled people who leave their own countries and give us the benefit of their skills.
“We always must make them welcome. We desperately need skilled and committed doctors and nurses wherever they come from. The British nation is progressively getting older and its about curing us. So please stay. We desperately need you. Thank you Preston Hospital.”
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Cllr Rankin’s situation was announced during Thursday’s full council meeting.
He is not expected to return to politics until at least February.
Councillor Robert Boswell will act up as interim leader during Cllr Rankin’s absence.