I WISH to thank Alan Hickman for his letter (Craven Herald, September 10) sharing his experience and his strong defence of the NHS. I have stories to tell of similar experiences.

I would also encourage readers to buy and read Dear NHS, 100 Stories to Say Thank You (published by Trapeze, widely available).

The contributors have donated their work to this fundraising project and range from A (Pam Ayres) to Z (Benjamin Zephaniah), taking in comedians (Jo Brand, Jimmy Carr, Joanna Lumley), a singer (Paul McCartney), news presenters (Emily Maitlis, Andrew Marr), actors (Emma Thompson, Peter Capaldi) and many more.

All profits go to NHS charities and the Lullaby Trust.

Experiences shared include the simple fear of hypodermic needles (Trevor McDonald) to being mugged and stabbed in the street (Graham Norton). Women speak of being tended carefully through difficult pregnancies. Many speak of support through bereavements. One tells of receiving care during a transgender process (Juno Dawson) and one is a spina bifida patient (Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson).

Most speak of the deeply personal nature of the care. It saved their sanity, if not their very lives. “Criminally underpaid, under-appreciated, overworked” (Chris Evans).

“Ordinary people doing extraordinary things” (Ian Rankin). There are poems from Benjamin Zephaniah, Kathy Burke, K T Tunstall and Alexander McCall Smith.

There are two good-looking recipes. “Make them and take them along to your local hospital for the staff.” (Jamie Oliver).

Stephen Fry, who spends a lot of his life in the USA, writes of the views of the “bloviated right-wing radio broadcaster Russ Limbaugh, "who railed against the threat of Barack Obama’s ‘socialised medicine’. What an affront to the honest taxpayer; people in Britain are always complaining about it.”

Incensed, Fry phoned in to tell him that, “If you stopped Britons in the street, it would take you a long time to find anyone who didn’t love, honour, venerate and feel deep pride in our NHS,” adding, “In America you have a socialised military after all, taxpayer funded and defending the USA against the threat of enemies.

"Well, we have a medical army defending us against sickness and disease. Why is one acceptable and the other not?”

Limbaugh said something like, “You are very confused, my friend, very confused indeed…” and cut Fry off.

Buy the book, read it, enjoy it, and add it to your Christmas shopping list.

By the way, there are actually 109 contributions. But then, the NHS always gives more than your money’s worth.

Rev John Midgley, Skipton