The past six months have been somewhat of a roller-coaster for me, not to mention for my family.  In October I was taken ill very suddenly and admitted to an NHS hospital, not an experience that I would want to repeat.

To cut a very long story short, the Accident and Emergency staff neglected to notice that I had perforated my bowel and it was only thanks to the quick thinking of my husband and the care of the private sector that I am here today.  I had my final operation a month ago and I am now fully recovered.

One very sobering thought is that while I was in hospital last October there was another lady in the Intensive Care Unit (ITU) with a similar problem to me.  She was not fortunate enough to have private medical insurance so was left at the mercy of the NHS.  My husband last saw her daughter one evening who reported that her mother had been so badly neglected following transfer to the ward that she suffered multiple organ failure and had been readmitted to ITU.  We don’t know how she got on but that 15 year old girl had been told that her mother had very little chance of surviving the night.

One thing that my experience has taught me is that the work of NFR and its supporters is so important.  I don’t want anyone to go through the experience that I had.  I know from painful experience that the NHS does not live up to the promises of 1948 and that the time has come for major reform of health care in the UK.

Nobody should be dying of neglect on the wards of one of London’s leading teaching hospitals.