Growing up with the NHS

James Roxburgh will turn 65 this July, just like the NHS.  Born in 1948, James has seen the NHS change over the years and has had to rely on its support at various stages throughout his life. 

James, who lives in Lochgelly, worked in the ship repair industry for 40 years but at 57 became an employee of the NHS, working in the medical records department for NHS Fife.  

Here, James reflects on growing up with the NHS, and what it has done for him. 

“I have worked for the NHS for seven and a half years now, with responsibility for processing and cataloguing patients’ notes, so they are ready for the next phase of their medical journey. It is crucial that everything is carefully documented. 

“The administrative system has been the same for the duration of my career, and I would say it is both efficient and comprehensive.  The staff who deal with the scheduling of appointments are so compassionate and caring and I believe this make a huge difference to people, particularly when they are feeling ill and vulnerable.  There are currently some changes going on internally which will result in making the system even more structured and fluid.

“I have also had to lean on the NHS for support over recent years. I was diagnosed with spinal stenosis in 2004 and needed the NHS to support me through research procedures, followed by treatment. I found all the staff at NHS Tayside to be incredibly efficient and caring. Following my diagnosis I was treated within six or seven weeks, which I thought was a very fast turnaround. I experienced consummate professionalism by all whom I came into contact with and feel much better now, thanks to the treatment I have received.  

“Having worked for the NHS for a number of years, it was very reassuring to know that this institution offers such a comprehensive support to those in need. I have every faith in the NHS with regards to the treatment I've received. Their knowledge still astounds me as does what they are continuing to research and discover.  

“When I was seven or eight I fractured my leg and I remember being off school for five months and there was very little help available to me. I am amazed by how many medical developments that have been made since then and how much help is available to those in need.

“As someone who worked in the ship repair industry all my life, I was very appreciative to NHS Fife for giving a 57 year old with a degree of disability due to my illness the opportunity of employment.  

“That’s why I’m delighted to be celebrating, and sharing, this landmark anniversary with the NHS.”