These people can be of any age, ethnicity or gender. They always put someone else's needs and welfare before their own, often without recognition or praise. Many have little chance to socialise, which can lead to isolation; and they have an overwhelming sense of responsibility. Who am I talking about? The UK's 'hidden workforce' of unpaid carers.
In the debate about antibiotic resistance it's often said that the implications are too big to get a handle on - people say it's something that should perhaps only concern scientists or politicians - but along with an absolutely justified call for global action there are personal stories and personal actions we must all take.
As I type these words ballot papers are being printed and sent out across the country to junior doctors in preparation for a proposed strike that now seems all but inevitable. This strike, the first of its kind for 40 years, represents a catastrophic breakdown in the relationship between the Department of Health and the medical profession.
So, what is the latest health threat that doctors are warning the public about in the UK at present? No, we haven't just identified a new strain of Ebola, tomatoes are still good for you, and disappointingly strawberry daiquiris are yet to contribute to your five-a-day. The newest threat to your health, is ironically the health secretary Jeremy Hunt himself.
So what are the doctors saying behind closed doors? They are saying that they have had enough. They are declaring that they will unify against the government and that they will fight. They are warning their children not to follow their career path, and considering their options very carefully also. Many have been tempted by warmer climates, or a career change all together. They are adamant that they will not back down, and that the government has picked the wrong group of professionals to attack.
Just a few weeks ago, news broke that Gill Pharaoh - a healthy 75 year old retired nurse - had chosen to end her own life at a Swiss suicide clinic. Whatever your stance on euthanasia or assisted suicide, for me the story raised another very important question. Can our health service truly support an aging population?
We have seen glimpses of innovation agility across the system - last year just 3% of GPs in England offered patients' online appointments, repeat prescriptions and access to summary information in medical records. Now this stands at 97%. A decade ago, it cost millions to sequence a genome, now it's less than £1,000.
Fundamentally I believe that we as patients must understand our responsibility to respect the free access we have to our GP, practice nurse, midwife or other primary care based professional. We expect their professionalism and access to them in a timely manner - it's not a lot to ask that we should also keep our side of the bargain too.
Maybe there really is just a sense of futility about the whole thing. Maybe it would be easier to sit back and let the powers that be take control and dismantle our health service, transforming it into whatever they feel is the best for the British public. My issue with this argument is that it is not for the government to decide for us. As many of the fantastic speakers at Crash Call reminded us, this is OUR NHS. We pay for it and we use it, so we should have a say in its future.
If you are from a black and minority ethnic (BME) background, and work in the NHS in the UK, you will already know that survival can be the name of the game. As well as doing the day job, whether you are a consultant, a hospital porter, a chief executive, a nurse or an administrator there are factors you are far more likely to have to negotiate than your white colleagues.
Public awareness is still far too low, but the symptoms - which include diarrhoea, muscle pain, mottled or discoloured skin, itching, difficulty passing urine, chills and shivering, fever, and fast breathing - can be spotted by friends and family, or even the patient themselves. Until we all start to suspect sepsis, and say sepsis, the outlook won't get better.
So what Mr Cameron should have said was this: 'We can have, where clinically-appropriate and fully resourced, a truly seven-day NHS, assuming, of course, we can ensure that staff are fairly rewarded and also fully involved in designing the specific services that patients actually require, and desire, all week-round'.
There is one story dominating healthcare headlines right now - the government's pledge to deliver "a truly seven-day NHS". It's a commitment we all welcome in principle, but with dwindling GP numbers, tight budgets and concerns over existing primary and secondary care workloads, it has prompted a collective eyebrow raise and the question, 'how'?