I am not the first politician to sing the praises of the NHS, an institution that is the envy of the world.
Many will know that I have been out of the limelight for a while as I was undergoing treatment for stomach cancer, adenocarcinoma of the stomach.
I have seen first-hand just how wonderful our NHS is.
I am pleased to say the gastrectomy operation was a success. The gruelling chemo sessions I endured did the job in killing off the cancer. I have to have one final chemo session to ensure any remaining spores are eradicated.
I was under the care of Professor Mike Griffin at the Northern Oesophago-Gastric Cancer Unit at the RVI, Newcastle. I would like to offer my heartfelt thanks to Prof Griffin, Claire Sedgwick and his fantastic team. I cannot express how thankful I am for their support over the last few months. They have been superb every step of the way.
I would also like to thank my constituents, friends and everyone who kindly sent me cards, emails and their best wishes; I can genuinely say I have been overwhelmed by such compassion.
Finally, I would like to thank my wife Deirdre for putting up with me, and my family who have been so supportive throughout these last few months. I could not have done it without them.
Once again, my heartfelt thanks to everyone for their tremendous support over the last few months.
Blyth Valley MP