HELLO. I’m Jeremy Hunt, the health secretary who’s put more funding into the NHS than any other hero, before or since.
Going to hospital? That’s your right as a British citizen, until further notice, but before you step past the smokers at the doors you should know what the risks are.
The NHS is currently going through a period of transition, from the state-funded service we love and cherish to something more exciting and American run with the thrilling efficiency of Virgin Trains and Virgin Broadband.
Pack a bag full of essential items, including toiletries, nightwear, a full set of sterile surgical instruments and anything you deem necessary for self-defence.
Beat the queues to book in at reception by distributing bribes; pasties for fellow patients, amphetamines for junior doctors and graphite-shafted golf clubs for consultants. You only get one chance to make a first impresssion!
What’s better or more comfortable than your own bed? Nothing, so do make sure to take it with you. If you forget and end up without a bed don’t come crying to us.
Before your operation the surgeon will visit you, although this may be a student nurse or hospital cleaner depending on availability. Explain exactly which organs have gone manky and where you want to be sliced open. Remember your left and right and their left and right are different.
Take something to read. This will pass the time while you’re waiting and will give you something to focus on if the theatre is suffering a temporary shortage of anaesthetists.
Following a major operation don’t be afraid to ask nurses to help with pain management. Both bathtub gin and sticks to bite on are available and competitively priced.
If you hear a klaxon, evacuate your room immediately. It is needed by a private patient.