My Lords, I apologise for my delay in speaking but my mobility is not as great as I would have hoped. I made the mistake of being a wicket keeper for many years and was suddenly told that I needed a new knee, having found that I could not walk.
One thing about the NHS is that, when you do not know it, you do not know what to expect. The NHS gave me a new knee. Attractive girls came to drip-feed me every evening, and then I found that I could walk and almost run. Against that background, I find it quite intriguing that we now have the technology to deal with all forms of sports activities. I found that the first thing the NHS needed to get was a new knee, which had to be ordered from the United States. I wondered why we did not do new knees. The surgeon was American and the operation was done by the NHS in London, then I was told, “You can go home shortly”, but they were not sure that they could trust me. When I got home, I found that every day at six o’clock two ladies turned up to give me injections in my arms and so on in case anything went wrong. Then—lo and behold!—I found, with joy, that I could walk properly, and I have been able to do so almost ever since.
With that thought in mind, I turn to the difficulty of dealing with the authorities. You make a telephone call and, before you know it, you get into the bureaucracy of receiving pieces of paper requiring you to attend another hospital appointment. I have had nearly 10 hospital visits with people wanting to check me out—they found that I had lost weight. It was the care that I received from the NHS that impressed me, as well as the fact that I can walk again. I am extremely grateful to it for what it has done for me.