We're back from a couple of days spent in hospital with Milo. He's fine, but it's his second time (the first was about a month ago) in with breathing difficulties caused by a viral chest infection.
He had to work very hard to breathe when he went in. You could see his stomach sucking in, and he was using every muscle in his top half just to get air in and out. We stayed in what was called the high dependency unit, where you need a bit more regular attention. But now, thanks to lots of inhalers, nebulisers, steroids and other things he's much, much better.
The NHS is a funny thing, and I know this isn't everyone's experience. We had to tell the same story and give the same details about five or six times within the space of a few hours. As a customer journey or relationship thing, that's a bit bonkers.
But the people, all of them, from the paramedics who took us in the ambulance to the A&E doctors, to the nurses, doctors and consultant on the children's ward, were absolutely incredible. You could not fault the level of care and attention to detail. They remembered our names, had proper conversations, remembered our stories and who we are, and passed it on from shift to shift.
When by comparison you consider how much many commercial companies invest in their CRM and still get it massively wrong, you realise that the NHS has a lot right with it. And probably the thing that makes the difference is the thing that underlies any customer relationship programme that works: people who care.