I’m always banging on about what a magnificent service the NHS provides but, just before Christmas, I got closer to the NHS than I’d bargained for. What started with me feeling a bit under the weather ended with a diagnosis of pneumonia and a subsequent stay in Gloucester Royal Hospital!

While I was there I received the very best care and the staff were fantastic, right from the A&E department to Ward 6B where I was treated. It was fantastic watching the doctors and nurses hard at work and I had a great insight into the dedication and patience they show to everybody they treat. It really was first class care.

I’m now well and truly on the mend and feel much, much better. I’d like to take this opportunity to say a massive thank you to every single person who phoned, messaged and generally enquired after me. I was staggered to have received over 500 messages wishing me well, and while I’m still working my way through the replies I just wanted you all to know how grateful and humbled I am by your kind words.

So, thank you and God bless you all… here’s to a wonderful year.