Three cheers for Britain's wonderful multiracial health care

"Get out of my room. Your mother's in the kitchen," yelled a delusional patient to Mariama, the long suffering Sierra Leonean woman nurse with a 'fro.

My namesake Mark in the neighbouring bed had every kind of medical wire and tube attached to him, including a catheter.

A state of the art machine monitoring his blood pressure intermittently chimed all night.

And the bearded 46-year-old patient kept waking up and cussing, mainly about wanting a cigarette as he hadn't smoked for four days.

Mark, who I overheard confessing to drinking at least six pints of beer a day, had a round the clock team attending to a liver condition, broken hip and mental health issues. Such health care in America would have either been beyond his reach or bankrupted him.

At three in the morning I was woken for routine checks staff called "obs" - my blood pressure taken with a Velcro cuff wrapped around my forearm that air was pumped into until my veins almost popped.

Even more unpleasant was the razor pricking of a finger to check my sugar levels for the umpteenth time. The 6.3 reading was the lowest ever since I was diabetes diagnosed three years ago.

Then there was the thermometer stuck in my ear as part of the obs every three hours

‎I got to the Lister acute surgical unit nine and a half hours after being brought by ambulance to King's College Hospital's accident and emergency department.

John, a taciturn middle-aged white man, wheeled me in to the "majors" section, which made me feel important. There I was given ECG heart tests and a tube for a drip of a litre of clear nuritiional fluid was put in a vein.

In the ambulance I'd been cared for by a handsome, business-like 20 something mixed race man from Lincolnshire. He said his father was a Black American he'd never met.

Funnily enough, the previous evening I'd been across the road, with Deborah my co-documentary filmmaker, at the Institute of Psychiatry for a talk about the making of the hit Channel Four Documentary series 24 hours in A&E, which featured King's.

It was a special treat for King's College alumni, of which, with my shiny contemporary British history masters, I was one. 

Little did I realise I would be living the movie the following day.

A&E staff were that wonderful NHS celebration of diversity. This was the free at the point of use British health system that is envied throughout the world. Obamacare is no comparison.

I came across Black and Irish nurses and porters; Monica, a young freckled German Swiss-Egyptian female doctor and her senior, Mr Fernandes, a Goan registrar, who couldn't diagnose the cause of my heavy anal bleeding but talked authoritatively about a “management plan” for me.

On the night shift, the jokey nurse, with a huge gap in her front teeth was Angolan. In the morning the nursing staff were overwhelmingly white, though the housekeeper was from the Ivory Coast and meal serving “host” Guyanese.

Were the hard-working Black and non-British born health workers the people Ukip's whacky Nigel Farage wants to ship back to "their own country"? The NHS would collapse without them and I'd have bled to death.

You ponder lots of things stretched out on a hospital bed with fresh smelling crisp white sheets and not much else to do than daydream.

I mused about why my media colleagues don't make more of Napoleon complex Farage's French refugee and German ancestry. And the German wife he employs as a fat cat Brussels-based Euro MEP?‎

Deborah told me that when her mother worked in a London, UK, hospital she once saw a frail Enoch Powell, the British godfather of migrant baiters, being wheeled in a chair by a Black nurse. What an ironic sight to behold.

Oh, it was Spyros, an attentive and cerebral Greek liver and renal consultant who discharged me this afternoon after saying surgical work on my haemhorroids a fortnight ago probably caused the bleeding. But, as a precaution, he referred me for a colon scan.

Three cheers for the multiracial NHS.