Representing estates and facilities professionals operating within the  



Simon Weston says E&F workers should be proud of their role in the NHS

Falklands war veteran Simon Weston OBE told delegates to this year’s Healthcare Estates Conference that the NHS “is one of our greatest jewels” and spoke of his “great love” for the institution which much of the world is still trying to emulate.

In his keynote address, Weston spoke of his own experiences of being treated by the NHS, and also how he believed it had “saved” both his mum and grandson. The institution, he said, “has given me so much back.”

He went on to point out that in his experience (citing one particularly arrogant doctor), not all the medics were as good as those behind the scenes, working away in the background. “Don’t ever underestimate the impact you make,” he told the gathered assembly of E&F health service professionals. “What you do makes things happen; you just might not see it, feel it, touch it. You are very, very important. You make it all possible – the doctors and nurses couldn’t do what they do without you.”

He likened the NHS to a “wonderful old beast” that’s still working because the desire is there to keep it going, and he called on those present to ensure the passion continued.

Weston is better placed than most to comment on life as an NHS patient, having spent almost a year in hospital after being brought back to England with severe burn injuries. “I was a very sick boy and for 11 months they wouldn’t let me out of hospital,” he said. “But my experience was so incredibly positive.”