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NHS hero praised

PUBLISHED: 14:27 26 November 2008 | UPDATED: 10:27 12 August 2010

AN NHS hero has been praised for his extraordinary contribution to the health service as part of their 60th anniversary celebrations.

AN NHS hero has been praised for his extraordinary contribution to the health service as part of their 60th anniversary celebrations.

Cliff Meredith, 57, who works as a driver for the psychiatric Bethlem Royal Hospital, in Monks Orchard Road, Beckenham, has worked for the NHS for more than 30 years.

He was chosen from hundreds to be in Extraordinary, a book by NHS Employers which features the stories from 60 NHS staff.

He said: "It is a great honour to be chosen for this book. I am just one of thousands of colleagues in London striving to the deliver the best possible care. The NHS is one of this country's greatest accomplishments and I am extremely proud to be part of it.

"I can't remember one day in 30 years when I've not wanted to get up in the morning and go to work."

Aged just nine, Mr Meredith moved to the now closed Cane Hill psychiatric hospital site in Coulsdon, Croydon, where his father was employed as a fire officer.

An extract from the book reads: "I must have had the best back garden of anyone in the school.

"It was magic. The hospital was completely self-sufficient at that time. It had its own piggery, dairy, bakery and even its own builders, decorators, electricians and plumbers. We lived in a cottage on site. After school I'd often say to my mates:

'C'mon, let's go and see the cows being milked or the pigs being born.' The NHS has been like an extended family to me. By the time I was 12, I was going round the wards delivering newspapers and chatting with the staff and patients. They watched me grow up. For years they'd say: 'Here, you're the fireman's young lad, aren't you?'"

The book is available to buy at www.nhsemployers.org.

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