So often we hear criticism of the NHS and the Royal Sussex County Hospital.

I would like to take this opportunity to express my thanks and gratitude for the treatment I've received as a cancer patient from both Bristol Ward and the A & E department, not forgetting the paramedics and district nurses.

In all instances, whatever staffing problems there may have been and however busy they were, the care and support I was given was second to none.

I would like to thank them all individually but, as often happens, their names have slipped from memory.

To mention just a few, thank you Alison, Sammy, Sarah, Pat, Jo and staff nurse Mandy from A & E.

Those I haven't remembered the names of, please know I'll always remember the faces and voices of you all.

So please, before you criticise too harshly, when you have to wait for appointments or sit in an out-patient clinic for an hour or so, the system may be far short of perfect but the staff are doing a truly magnificent job and they really do care.

As I raise a glass to the Royal Sussex to welcome in 2002, I shall be wishing each and every one of them love, peace and rainbows for a wonderful new year.

-Judi Lonsdale, Clarendon Place, Eastern Road, Brighton