I WOULD like through your paper to take this opportunity to express my sincere thanks to the staff and fellow patients of Pilkington Ward in St Helens Hospital.

Six weeks ago I was a patient on the ward having a total knee replacement on my left knee.

The staff were absolutely brilliant from the most senior nurse down to the ward cleaners .

As you can imagine, I was very nervous before the operation, but Debbie, one of the nurses assigned to look after me reassured me everything would be okay.

And it was Debbie who accompanied me to the theatre keeping me cheerful so I didn't worry.

When I eventually came to after the operation, guess who was there smiling down at me? Debbie.

After the operation, the physios Dee and Ash were assigned to get us mobile again, at the time we thought they had no feelings at all putting us through all this pain, but it was for our own good and it has proved very beneficial. On another occasion one of the patients took a turn for the worse, just as the nurses were changing shifts, but instead of going home because their shift had ended they all rushed to his aid and would not leave until he was sorted out and feeling better -- true dedication.

I was fortunate that I was in hospital with a great bunch of lads who helped one another whenever they could, also we were looked after by a first-class medical team, once again many thanks.

Brian Hughes, Warrington Road, Rainhill.