April 20: Rumours of NHS death are exaggerated

From: Alan Chapman, Beck Lane, Bingley.

LATE on Easter Sunday morning I fainted in the church at Gilstead, Bingley. Luckily I was among 50 caring Christians and a special churchwarden, Avis Jones, trained in first aid, rather than home alone where I may have died.

A large NHS ambulance arrived quite quickly and attached an ECG machine to me and gathered vital evidence that I was experiencing a “blocker” event due to my heart’s electrical circuit malfunctioning.

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I was taken to the Bradford Royal Infirmary cardiac ward before 3pm, to be greeted by the magic words from a staff nurse: “Don’t worry Mr Chapman, we know what is wrong and how to fix it.”

On Monday the senior doctor fully explained my situation and that a pacemaker should correct my problem.

On Tuesday morning he said there was a chance my operation might be later that day, using the ward theatre and local anaesthetic. I went into theatre at 4.15 pm and was out at 4.45pm.

I stayed over a third night, tested and X-rayed on Wednesday morning, passed muster, was handed demob papers and was home for tea. Scurrilous rumours circulated by the Labour Party that the coalition’s well-run NHS is dead are exaggerated!