With our nine major hospitals serving the people of Bristol, the South West and the UK, we want to delve deeper into the past 70 years. We know that patients often come to Above & Beyond when they want to say thank you for their care, so we’re asking our supporters to show their appreciation by sending in their stories and memories of the time they spent in Bristol’s hospitals.

Tom Winchester

Ten years after Tom recovered from a brain tumour, he decided to give something back to the doctors and nurses
at Bristol Royal Hospital for Children.

His fundraising is ongoing, but so far he has raised £6,500 for the hospital. 

He said: "I’m aware that not everyone that is treated by the NHS has a happy ending, but I’m sure that everyone who has witnessed their care and support can agree with me when I say that I am proud of the job they do, on the whole, for our country and that I feel like my life is in safe hands.

"So here’s a MASSIVE THANK YOU to the NHS for all of the fantastic work they’ve done, not just for me, but for us as a nation."

Brian Knowles

Brian, 79, was diagnosed with a narrowed aortic valve three years ago. He was referred to consultant Mr Alan Bryan at the Bristol Heart Institute and had surgery a few months later.

He said: “I received exceptional care and attention at the hospital and I am grateful for the treatment which enabled me to steadily resume my work and return to a normal lifestyle. I now feel very well and keep active.

“The treatment has provided a valuable extension to my life and
 enabled me continue contributing to charitable work which helps others too.

“Now I am able to enjoy my latest gift – a great-granddaughter.”

Dr. Robin Philipp

I joined the UH Bristol Trust in 1997 and worked full-time until, on retiring in 2016, being given an honorary appointment. Consistently, I have always felt very deeply my love of the NHS and its values. What the NHS offers, its standards, and what it does to help and support people with their healthcare needs are I sincerely believe a unique combination and very precious. All the NHS stands for deserves our ongoing support. My own principal role was to clinically help and support people at work with their health-related needs. Many of them were like me also health service employees.

In the NHS I felt particularly privileged to be working for an organisation and in an environment which allowed me as much time with individual patients that they and and I thought was needed with their personal health problem. I never thought of any of this as work. I enjoyed it all too much!  I know too that I wasnt alone in this thinking. Frequently one of my NHS staff patients would say to me, quite spontaneously: I love my job. I agreed wholeheartedly with factors they highlighted such as: the enjoyment and feeling of contentment that comes with doing something worthwhile and that gives a sense of purpose in life.

What I loved most though about working in the NHS was the compassion I so often witnessed and that NHS staff show and share with their patients. The saying: In life we get back what we give out, is to my mind so true. I do therefore hope, very sincerely, that compassion can remain a core NHS value for the next 70 years.

If anyone might like more information about this viewpoint it is expanded in: Compassion Is A Core Value Worth Holding On To.

Joan Pepper

Joan's husband Matt was treated in Bristol following a heart attack in 2004. He was taken to Bristol Royal Infirmary where he had a second heart attack.

Describing the team as "absolutely brilliant", Joan says without them her husband wouldn't be alive today. 

She said: "I can't fault the NHS and I just hope they keep going."

To find out more about Joan's story, watch her video:

To support our local NHS in its 70th year, please donate below: