A CUP of tea can make all the difference for patients when they visit the Royal Blackburn and Burnley General hospitals, said Shazhad Sarwar.

The non-executive director of East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust said he was recently a patient at the trust when he needed a colonoscopy, to examine the interior lining of his large intestine.

He said he was struck by the importance of staff being friendly and offering patients a brew, adding: “A cup of tea might not mean a lot but it actually does. They didn’t know I was a non-executive director, I was just another patient.”