WHEN his son’s illness left him snookered, a top BBC commentator found he could rely on hospital staff.

Sports commentator Rob Walker, who has helmed the BBC’s snooker coverage, has praised the “incredible professionalism” of doctors and nurses at Great Western Hospital.

His praise came after three-year-old son Arthur needed round-the-clock care at the GWH’s children’s unit.

The youngster spent five days in the hospital’s specialist ward – with dad Rob at his side.

Rob, 42, told staff at the hospital he and his wife were “blown away” by the professionalism of staff.

In a letter to the hospital, he said: “As just one of the millions of families whose lives have been touched by the brilliance of the NHS this year, my wife and I wanted to let you know how grateful we are to live in a country with a health service which has taken such loving and diligent care of our little boy.

“Whatever role you have in the NHS, both in hospital and elsewhere, your kind words and actions really do make a difference.

“Everyone in the hospital made our experience more bearable and it was so obvious to us they did it because they believe in what the NHS stands for.”

He picked out individual staff members for helping little Arthur on the road to recovery. Among them, he thanked Andrew Jones, a consultant orthopaedic surgeon at the hospital, calling him “everything you would need an expert in that situation to be”.

In a heart-warming close to the letter, he urged hospital staff to feel pride in their work.

He closed his letter with an emotional plea for staff to feel proud of the amazing work they do.

“When your feet ache, when you haven’t eaten for 10 hours or you read another negative headline, please don’t despair,” he wrote.

“There are millions of us who are incredibly thankful for your dedication, warmth and expertise.

“Gratitude and happy endings may not generate headlines, but they make families like ours whole again.

“No words I use can truly convey the feeling of seeing my son coming back to health. Please keep up the good work, it really is appreciated.”

Young Arthur is receiving ongoing treatment at Great Western Hospital, but is believed to be on the road to recovery.

Great Western Hospital’s chief nurse, Hilary Walker, thanked sports commentator Rob for his support.

She said: “I was absolutely delighted to learn that Rob and his family had been so well looked after by our wonderful team on the Children’s Unit.

“The letter, which has since been shared with all our teams, was incredibly moving. I’m enormously proud our care was enough for Rob to want to put his feelings in writing.

“We receive hundreds of letters every week, but this one really stood out.

“While it’s not the reason we do what we do, it’s always lovely to be recognised, especially in such a public way.”