I WAS surprised to find myself in hospital.

Based on this visit, I wonder what all the negative press is about.

I’m one of those who believes all the stuff said about the NHS and, in particular, Royal Bolton Hospital.

Well, I didn’t have to pay for my night’s stay ­— or should I say bed and breakfast with full medical cover!

Foolishly, I admit, the stay was down to something I’ve done ­— but more on that later.

My evening started with me settling down to watch TV ­— when I noticed my ticker starting to race and then settle down.

But it didn’t stop doing this and I was getting redness on my skin and feeling really hot. I called the good old and good people on the 111 helpline. They were good and suggested I got looked at by out of hours.

I popped into a taxi and went to see them, but the physician was not happy so he printed a letter to take with me to A and E.

I thought I had better go despite wanting to go back home to watch the TV.

A&E was fantastic and I sat in the waiting area where I was surprised how quiet it was considering it was a Friday night.

Because of what I was booked in for, I was through triage straight away and within five minutes, I was on a bed.

I was reassured by a nurse that I needn’t worry ­— they were going to look after me in intensive care only because they didn’t have space in A&E.

I was there for a few hours and was getting quite sleepy when I was wheeled into the clinical decisions unit.

I was wired up again to another machine which was to be my companion throughout the night, along with advice that I should try and sleep.

Every time sleep beckoned I’m sure that machine had a dark sense of humor as it woke me up each time.

After all that fun, along came breakfast ­— a lovely cup of tea and really fresh hot toast.

I was courteous throughout, which always gets better results.

My bed was made when I had a shower. After consultation with a specialist ­— all done by my bed ­— we agreed that I was overdoing the nicotine replacement therapy and the nicotine was pumping up my system.

I was duly discharged. Oh yes and my bed was made again with fresh sheets upon me leaving, and the ward was cleaned constantly.

Other patients in this ward treated the nurses and assistants that served breakfast and cleaned and made the beds like they were always at their call and were quite cheeky at times.

Come on guys ­— treat people with more respect. But the staff were not rude and seemed to take it all in their stride.

You don’t get that service in a hotel ­— you get it from a hard working NHS system.

Criticize the NHS? I doubt I will again.

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