“NHS saved me from living in a silent world” | Celebrating the NHS turning 75

Celebrating the NHS turning 75

NHS 75 To help celebrate the NHS turning 75 this week, we are shining a spotlight on the work of some of our NHS heroes across Nottingham University Hospitals (NUH) as well as remembering key milestones for the Trust, including when King Charles was a patient at the Queen’s Medical Centre and celebrating 45 years of clinical genetics at NUH.    

Here you can find the latest news and stories relating to our celebrations as we begin a week of recognising 75 years of the National Health Service.  

At NUH, the 75th anniversary provides the opportunity to reflect on past achievements and recognise where we are today whilst looking ahead to the future, with our People First report helping to set the direction for the Trust to reflect on what is needed.  

We will also be reflecting on the huge achievements of the NHS as a whole such as treating over a million people a day in England and the fact that the NHS touches all of our lives.  

When it was founded in 1948, the NHS was the first universal health system to be available to all, free at the point of delivery.  

From the world’s first CT scan on a patient in 1971, revolutionising the way doctors examine the body, to the world’s first test-tube baby born in 1978, the NHS has delivered huge medical advances. 

Below are some NUH NHS stories which we hope you will enjoy to celebrate this huge milestone.  

“NHS saved me from living in a silent world”

A man who can hear thanks to a cochlear implant has praised the NHS for saving him from living in a silent world. 

Ian Milner, 55, failed his hearing test as part of an RAF application at the age of 17.  In his 40s, tests showed significant bilateral hearing loss, but it took 10 years for Ian to take up the offer of a cochlear implant – when his daughter Kimberley left home. 

The implant took place at Queen’s Medical Centre and the device was switched on a month later at Ropewalk House, a nationally recognised centre for auditory implantation. 

“It has given me a new lease of life – the improvements have been mind-blowing! And I want to let everyone know how fantastic it is,” says Ian. “I’ve got to retrain my ears - at first everyone sounded like a robot!” 

“It’s not like having a new hearing aid,” said Ellen Jeffs, from Nottingham Auditory Implant Programme. “The implant bypasses the damaged parts of the hearing system and uses electrical impulses to stimulate the hearing nerves directly. The brain has to learn to listen with this new signal, so at switch-on the sound can be very odd. Patients may experience a sensation rather than a sound to start with, or lots of beeping, or a robotic sound.” 

A cochlear implant works differently for different people. For some, it improves their awareness of environmental sound and helps lip-reading or visual communication; for others it means they can use the telephone or follow a conversation in a quiet space. 

“I’m still in rehabilitation,” says Ian. “I listen to audio books, music, and rehabilitation apps on my phone. But I feel great.” 

He has no explanation for his hearing loss. “When I was a toddler I didn’t speak – my twin spoke for me and the GP said that’s normal for twins.  

“I suffered bullying and abuse throughout my life. Deafness is one disability that people still think it is ok to take the mickey out of.”  

He is a finance officer at Social Work England, and says: “The support they have given me has been amazing. I sit on the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) committee and I’ve learned so much from the other networks and other marginalised people.” 

“I am so honoured and humbled to have this implant,” says Ian. “I owe everything to the audiologist who referred me for this. The NHS has saved me from living in a silent world.”  

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