As Nonnatus House Goes Into Mourning, Should We Be Lamenting The Loss Of The NHS ?
BBC1 Sunday 8.00pm
In a BBC show that has seen record viewing figures and a loyal viewership, Call The Midwife has taken us back to a time when life was hard, poverty meant living without running water, families of 8 often sharing one room.
However, amidst the sweat and turmoil, people lived an honest existence, and class structure wasn’t simply a term thrown about by politicians, many of whom have little or no concept of what living in the real World is like. People behaved differently, in fact people were different – we have become victims of a society that has relinquished all responsibility in to the hands of a very small, very powerful, very wealthy set of individuals. Nonnatus House made up of its Nuns and Mid-wives has chartered us through some of the most tempestuous waters of recent British history. As a new World dawned at the end of the Second World War, the hopes of the nation were high. Europe had come together in a bid to ensure that WWII would be the LAST war, a worthy, but forlorn hope. It has brilliantly shown how the creation of the National Health Service positively impacted not just the lives of every single member of society, but that it provided the state with a healthy workforce, a win win situation.
Fast forward just a few decades and the reality is now far from that envisaged by it’s founding fathers and early pioneers.
Sadly, in this the last episode of the current series, the shadow of death falls over Poplar, as one of the programmes best-loved characters will be mourned by a community that will be grief-stricken at their loss.
So as you sit around the TV set this Sunday evening, perhaps we might share just a little of that grief for the loss of a National Health Service; where care is being pushed aside in the name of economy; where doctors are forced to choose between life-extending drugs or closing services; where a health service founded on the principles of free at the point of use is slowing giving way to profit. Long gone are the days when the community midwife was a part of her community, where very often whole generations of families were all brought in to this World by a familiar face. No one would argue that those early years were perfect, or that they always got everything right, far from it! However, progress does sometimes feel like a very backward process!