A ride in an emergency ambulance to Redhill is not everyone’s idea of a pre-Christmas treat - the East Surrey Hospital not always being flavour of the month.
Also the NHS in general has received less less than favourable coverage in the national press in recent times.
However, for me, things could not have been different. Feeling very unwell with nausea and its unwelcome results can be frightening.
But a call to 999 brought an ambulance crew to our door within minutes. After a cursory examination, the paramedic announced, ‘Into the ambulance for you, young man - and quickly’!
With my wife in tow, the skilled female driver negotiated the traffic at speed while her colleague monitored my every function - making copious notes en route.
On arrival at Redhill, I was conveyed smoothly into a busy A & E Department where attentive and kindly nurses punctured both arms in preparation for a possible blood transfusion.
The pleasant, ultra modern décor comforted my nerves and there was an atmosphere of quiet efficiency.
After a while, a young doctor came over and gave me the most thorough physical examination of my life - including an Army medical.
After assessing the results of my numerous blood tests - and much to my relief - and that of my wife - he told me that I could return home as long as I took things easy.
So this is an opportunity for me to offer my sincere thanks to all concerned with my wellbeing - paramedics, medicos and nursing staff at the much maligned East Surrey Hospital.
For me, it was the NHS at its very best. Now fully recovered, I would like to wish all the dedicated staff at Redhill a Very Happy Christmas.
Have a great time!
ROBERT B. WORLEY
Bourns Court, Ayshe Court Drive, Horsham