Category Archives: NHS
Twas The Nightshift Before Christmas by Adam Kay
Christmas is coming, the goose is getting fat . . . but 1.4 million NHS staff are heading off to work. In this perfect present for anyone who has ever set foot in a hospital, Adam Kay delves back into his diaries for a hilarious, horrifying and sometimes heartbreaking peek behind the blue curtain at Christmastime.
Twas the Nightshift Before Christmas is a love letter to all those who spend their festive season on the front line, removing babies and baubles from the various places they get stuck, at the most wonderful time of the year.
This is Going to Hurt by Adam Kay was huge success and is still selling very well. Adam returns with a festive book Twas The Nightshift Before Christmas (Picador). This is a book that will find its way into many a Christmas stocking this year and it is both hilarious and heart-breaking at the same time.
There was many laughs in Adam Kay’s first book but may be because this is a look at the life on the NHS wards at Christmastime I actually found this to be more hilarious.
I mean what on earth are people doing at Christmas to land themselves in hospital I mean what are Candy Canes for exactly? To eat you cry, just try telling that to some out there. (I will leave this to your imagination). Adam really does know how to reach out to people and make them laugh and there are barrel loads of laughs throughout.
The NHS staff across the country all year deserve so much praise for being there at all hours of the day and night to look after us when we need their help. But so much more during the festive period when they sacrifice so much to care for those of us who need care and attention. I was one of those in my childhood that spent Christmas in hospital. I have never forgotten the nurses and doctors of that hospital. Being ill or having accidents does not stop just because it is Christmas.
There are so many hilarious stories that Adam shares from his diaries of his time in an NHS hospital during the festive period. But also at the same time there are some stories that will make you stop and think and are rather sad and poignant.
There is also the message about how dangerously underfunded the NHS has become to the point of the medical staff working long hours without a break or sleep. Our wonderful NHS needs all our support all year round it is not a political football to be played with at election time. It needs real-time investment and that includes in nurses and doctors.
If you do want a seriously good laugh after you have over eaten and drunk too much, then my prescription is Twas The Nightshift Before Christmas by Adam Kay. I promise it is a far more entertaining than Christmas Day TV.
One last thought. If you have been treated in hospital this past year, why not send a card to the hospital or some chocolates to the doctors and nurses that treated you to give them some Christmas cheer on the big day.
Twas The Nightshift before Christmas by Adam Kay is published by Picador and published on 17th October 2019 and is available through Waterstones, Amazon and through your local independent bookshop.
The Language of Kindness: A Nurse’s Story by Christie Watson
I have an admission to make. When I started to write this review for The Language of Kindness by Christie Watson I really struggled to put the words on paper. Whatever I write it will not do justice to a memoir about nursing. This book had me crying. Yes, there were also times when it made me smile and made me laugh. One thing it really did do as if I needed to was to really appreciate the profession that is nursing and the dedication that nurses put into their daily roles.
There are personal stories of patients contained within the book that many will be moved by. Watson has one problem when she starts her training to be a nurse and that is the sight of blood. It makes her want to faint. This is something she will have to overcome. Mistakes are made along the journey to become a nurse. She manages to overcome the hurdles in training and starts to make her mark in the intensive-care wards for children and then to progress further.
There are many stories that Watson tells and throughout the book it is her quiet and gentle prose that makes this memoir really shine. Watson also rages about what is happening with the NHS of today. When we think of nurses we think of them dispensing medical care and medicines to make us better, but reading this will give you a much greater understanding. It is more than that, it is about talking and being with those who need medical care. From just assisting a patient and helping them do the basics to singing to a new born baby who sadly then sadly dies. This is pure emotion. I have nothing but admiration and pride for the nurses who work so tirelessly in our NHS. So many stories that I could share here but that would detract from the incredible memoir. Nursing is an undervalued profession but many like me believe they are all angels.
Christie Watson also wrote a novel Tiny Sunbirds Far Away that won the 2011 Costa First Novel Award. Following this Watson left nursing after two decades and decided to become a full-time writer.
What I have written here about The Language of Kindness will never do it justice. This is a book that deserves all the accolades. Lyrical and moving this is a book that I highly recommend.
Thank you Sophie Lambert at Conville & Walsh or the review copy of The Language of Kindness by Christie Watson.
The Language of Kindness by Christie Watson is published by Chatto & Windus and was published on 3rd May 2018 and is available through Waterstones, Amazon and through your local independent bookshop.