March 3, 2013
The Spirit of '45: where did it go?

Professor Harry Keen, 87, a diabetes specialist for 50 years, and founder of theĀ NHS Support Federation, which aims to protect the founding values of the NHS, still holds a clinic once a week. He recalls a visit to a boy called Billy in his home in the summer of 1948, soon after qualifying. “I received two shillings and sixpence and said I would call back. When I returned the mother informed me that Billy was a lot better. But as we spoke I heard a loud hacking cough: ‘That’s not Billy, its Johnny his brother,’ the mother said. When I offered to take a look at Johnny, she said, ‘I’d rather you didn’t, we really can’t afford it.’ I told her that today was 5 July, the birth of the NHS. From then on, my services would be free. What a great day!”

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