HAVING injured my right hand in a fall three days ago, I was advised by the nurse-practitioner at my GP’s surgery to have it looked at at A&E.

Within 10 minutes of checking in at Royal Bournemouth Hospital’s Emergency Department I was assessed by a triage nurse and less than 10 minutes later I was in front of a doctor who decided that an X-Ray was required.

A short walk took me to the X-Ray Department where it was barely five minutes before I was called in by the radiographer who took several x-rays and sent me back to the treatment area where I would again be seen by the doctor once he had seen the x-rays.

Again, it was less than 10 minutes before I was with the doctor who told me that the little finger on my right hand was fractured and would need setting and dressing with a splint.

This he did immediately and sent me on my way.

Less than 45 minutes had elapsed from the time I arrived at the hospital to the time I left - extremely impressed at the efficiency and speed with which I had been treated.

Even more impressive was the fact that less than 24 hours later I had a call from the Fracture Clinic at Poole Hospital, which had received details of my injury from the Royal Bournemouth, and wanted to make an appointment for me to be seen within 7-10 days in order for them to check that my injury had been treated correctly and was on the mend!

Since moving to Bournemouth in 1991 I have never received anything but first class service from my GP, and Bournemouth, Poole and Christchurch hospitals, on the many occasions I have needed attention.

I am sick to death of listening to people carping and moaning about the NHS. They should try living, as I did for 18 years, in the USA where there is nothing remotely similar to the NHS and where, even if you have full private health insurance, a catastrophic illness can land you with medical bills amounting to tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of dollars for treatment and procedures not covered by your policy.

Yes, of course the NHS is strapped for cash, but the only way it will get it is if we acknowledge the fact that for decades now, the proportion of our income that we have been paying towards our health care has been totally unrealistic.

Robert Readman

Norwich Avenue West, Bournemouth