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Kath Tandy, Deputy Chair - League of Friends

Memories of life before the NHS

Kath Tandy, 92, from Bewsey remembers what life was like before the NHS, when healthcare and medical treatment was only available to those with the means to pay.
One of a family of seven with a mum and dad who ran their own business, she can remember how the family paid a man from the insurance company every week, so they could call a doctor when they really needed to.

Kath recalls: “We were lucky, our family could afford to pay, but there were plenty of people who couldn’t. When they got sick, they couldn’t afford to get help, so they just had to ‘do without’.

“It’s barely thinkable today that someone in need of care would be left to get sick or even pass away without receiving any care.”

Such is Kath’s appreciation for the NHS and the care she has received, she joined Warrington Hospital’s League of Friends, aged 60, after meeting some volunteers after an outpatient appointment. She is still involved an incredible 33 years later, working in the league’s shop at Warrington Hospital and selling tickets for their weekly lottery.

"In all the years I’ve been here, I’ve made lots of friends, all while doing a role that’s really worthwhile. You meet lovely people here at the hospital, from visitors and patients to staff, all while helping a really good cause.

“I thoroughly recommend becoming part of the NHS – you’ll be welcomed with open arms!"

Warrington League of Friends raises funds to assist patients and supports the work of the hospital through voluntary service.