In the last four years I have had three episodes of septicaemia. On two of these I passed out before getting to hospital. My wife and I live in inner South London in between four famous Teaching hospitals. On the last occasion, I was unconscious before the ambulance arrived, and unaware of the driver being a fireman. I only came to when the consultant was examining me. Learning from one of my patients’ mothers many years ago, I asked her what was the worst possible outcome, on the basis that any other news could only be good news. She said: Well I THINK we can get you better, but we might have to call your family. (Exact words). The ambulance had arrived within a few minutes of my wife ringing 999. But if the ambulance had been delayed for an hour or more, as is now commonly the case, I might well have died before I had the first emergency treatment and the consultant got to examine me. So I pretty much owe my life to the ambulance service and the NHS. As soon as I started to recover my senses the nurse who had only just arrived in Britain from Kerala in South India realised that the best way to speed my recover was to start teaching me her first language, Malayalam, which just happens to be exceptionally interesting in relation to my current research, although I did not know this at the time. So thank you, NHS and Ambulance Service, from the bottom of my heart, as I go through my nine lives one by one (a total of six so far). To my mind the issues here are of much greater and deeper priority than either of the two current candidates to be Prime Minister seem to realise.