The viral Facebook post on NHS pressures written by junior doctor found dead at home

Tom Embury-Dennis
Rebecca Ovenden worked in the A&E department of Plymouth’s Derriford Hospital: Facebook

A junior doctor whose passionate defence of the NHS went viral on Facebook has been found dead at her home in Devon.

Rebecca Ovenden’s body was found on the morning of 28 March, but police say there was no suggestion her death was connected to her work.

The 32-year-old worked in the A&E department of Plymouth’s Derriford Hospital, and for the Devon Air Ambulance.

In 2015, Dr Ovenden’s message about the pressures of working in an NHS hospital was shared more than 38,000 times, reports the Plymouth Herald.

Here is the statement in full:

“I heard a patient's relative comment the other night at work ‘we waited four hours for that’.

"I wish I could have turned to them and said 'YES! - BLESS THE NHS! It is because of the NHS you can walk into an ED at 1.35 in the morning and no matter your complaint be seen by a doctor.

"Please don't complain in earshot of your health care professional about waiting four hours to be seen in the middle of the night, free of charge by a doctor, with a smile on their face who has not been rude to you, who has reassured you, when the reason it took four hours to see you was because they were trying to save the life of an elderly man who had not wanted to make a fuss about a cold when he was dying of a raging chest infection.

"Be thankful of the service you get at the moment, no matter how crappy you might think it is. You never know when you or a loved one might need it.

"It may not be around in its current form for much longer. Then what would you say?"

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