Happy 72nd Birthday NHS!

Can you believe the NHS has been keeping us all healthy and safe for over 70 years?! As the NHS celebrates its 72nd Birthday, we want to celebrate the heroic efforts of one key worker close to our hearts. Dr Katie Miller has been an Islander for 8 years working in store while training to be a doctor at the same time. She completed her training just as the pandemic hit and was thrown in at the deep end helping on the NHS front line. We couldn’t be prouder of her and think she’s a massive super star. So, meet Katie, our very own NHS hero…

Tell us about yourself?

My name is Katie and I’m 26. I’m a newly qualified doctor and recently started working early because of the Covid-19 pandemic. I love to go out for food and cocktails with the girls, gigs and absolutely love a holiday -my ultimate destination is the Philippines. I went to uni for eight years, did a 3 year undergrad degree in Biomedical Sciences and then completed a five year medicine course to become a doctor. I paid my way through uni working at River Island for 9 years and it was the best thing I could have done. Working at River gave me the confidence to talk to anyone which obviously helps as a doctor. It taught me how to balance work with life and helped me grow as a person, surrounded by a variety of people.

As a newly qualified doctor (congrats) how have you been doing to support frontline services?

I’ve been doing well the last few months. I’m honestly grateful to be at work and helping out where I can. It’s been eye opening and a huge learning curve. No one had ever experienced anything like this before so there was a real sense of community and support to help each other get through the days. Everyone has faced their own struggles and dealt with the situation differently. It’s felt really good to a part of something that offers support to both staff and patients. Everyone has been so encouraging of me as a newly qualified doctor and although I was chucked in at the deep end, I never felt like I was without a paddle because my team were so approachable. 

What has it been like over the past few months? 
The past few months have been a blur to be honest. It’s gone incredibly quickly with things changing every day. Everyone just got on with what we were told to do because it’s the only way we’ve been able to work. It’s been difficult at times. There are days when you feel helpless and overwhelmed but also days that are uplifting and remarkable like when we’ve clapped Covid survivors out the door. It’s very hard to put into words how the last few months have been because it’s almost been surreal. I’ve not had time to worry about working with Covid because things have moved so fast. Where I work I’ve been very lucky and had full support with PPE and training. 
What made you want to be a doctor? 

Wow, that is a difficult question. As cliché as it sounds I find it interesting. I find learning about how the body works and how it fails really fascinating.

Tell us three facts about the NHS we might not know… 

1. The NHS deals with over 1.4 million patients every 24 hours! 

2. It is the 5th largest employer in the world.

3. Since the NHS was created, the life expectancy of men and women has gone up by approximately 10 years.

What’s been helping you get through this time? 

Definitely the support from everyone especially my River Island family who have been my no. 1 fans and always make me smile. Good food at the weekend is a necessity so I feel like I’ve had a weekend and have something to look forward to. As lockdown has eased, I’ve been able to see my friends and family (socially distanced of course) which has really helped keep me going. I miss being able to hug them though. I’ve actually got back into exercise too which has been great! I’ve felt really good recently and done workouts I never thought I could. 

What would be your one piece of advice to people as we start to come out of lockdown? 

My advice coming out of lockdown would be to respect your friends, family and the people around you. Just because you feel ready doesn’t mean your loved ones do so just respect that. This has had a huge impact on people for different reasons and there should be a mutual understanding that we all want to get through it at our own pace. Also, let’s not forget the positives that Covid has brought. The amazing impact on the environment, the acts of kindness between neighbours, the positivity over social media, the money saving, the much needed break from work etc. There has been plenty of positives and we should focus on them. 

After working so hard, what is the one thing you are most excited to do when you can? 

To go on holiday!!! I miss the beach and the sea; I miss cocktails and mezze platters. I’d go so far to say that I would clap when the plane lands...

How can we celebrate the NHS 72nd birthday? 

To celebrate the NHS 72nd birthday I think now more than ever we need to celebrate and appreciate what an amazing healthcare service we have. I hope that after Covid the appreciation is not forgotten. I urge people to remember that we haven’t had a break and to be patient when things return to normal. I think we should do one last outdoor clap to show our appreciation for over 70 years of incredible service. Clap louder than ever!

To say thank you for keeping us all safe, Blue Light Card members get 15% off for a limited time only.