“I always believe you can’t go wrong if you treat people the way you want to be treated or the way you would want your own family to be treated."
Ron Patching is a retired NHS employee who started his NHS career in 1979 after a background in maintenance and construction work.
Ron joined the NHS after he applied for a job as an ambulanceman after seeing a job advert. He had a successful interview, and after proving he could manoeuvre an ambulance around, was offered the job. Ron went to Chichester Ambulance Station to complete his training and was later stationed at Worthing and then Littlehampton.
Ron said: “I always wanted to help people. My Dad had always been interested in medical stuff and I suppose that had always stuck with me.”
“Working for the ambulance service was the best move of my life. I was always proud to put my uniform on and I was so fortunate to have worked with the same crew for twelve years. We were like brothers.
“In 1992 I qualified as a paramedic and it was one of the proudest moments of my life. Being able to save someone’s life meant so much. For me there’s nothing better than someone saying thank you for saving my life.
“We did a lot of fundraising to raise money to buy equipment for the ambulance service. We raised money to buy our first paramedic car and cardiac equipment that helped save so many lives. Without the funds the service wouldn’t have been able to afford to buy. It meant such a lot to me, the people I worked with, the ambulance service and ultimately the people we would be called out to help.
“In 1997 my Dad got ill and he went into a nursing home. There had been a few changes to the ambulance service; East Sussex merging with West Sussex and the introduction of the twelve hour shift, and I felt I needed to move on. A maintenance job came up at Zachary Merton Hospital, which was opposite my dad’s nursing home. I wanted to be closer to my dad so I applied for the position and I was successful. Unfortunately my Dad died the same week I started in the job but I was there when he died and that means so much to me.
“Ten years later a carpenter who worked at Swandean retired and I was lucky enough to replace him. I worked as a carpenter up until 2007 when I was offered the position as team leader for West Sussex. I worked with a great team up until I retired in January 2017.
“The best thing about working for the NHS was meeting people and helping people when they are at their lowest through illness, or worse still, close to death. I always tried to be sympathetic and understand the situation from their point of view.
“The NHS is a fantastic organisation that needs funding properly – the clue is in the name, it’s a service not a profit making company.”
“What I loved most about working for the NHS was the people I worked with and the people I met. The way we pulled together and worked as a team. Team work and being part of a team was everything to me.
“In the NHS, everyone from the cleaner to the CEO is doing a job to make life better for other people.
“I always believe you can’t go wrong if you treat people the way you want to be treated or the way you would want your own family to be treated.
“I think the NHS is a fantastic organisation. I would recommend working for the NHS as a career path and I would encourage anyone thinking about working for the NHS to try it and see. I’m proud that I did.”