Lady Thatcher has suffered earlier bouts of ill health and spent a night in hospital in 2005 after she complained of feeling faint during an appointment with a hairdresser. On that occasion, she was treated in a private single room on a coronary ward at the Chelsea and Westminster Hospital in London. On the advice of her doctors she was admitted and kept in overnight for observation. She left the morning after in good spirits and told waiting reporters: "I'm fine, I'm fine. I feel fine." She also suffered a very minor stroke whilst celebrating her Golden wedding anniversary in Madeira in 2001.
Lady Thatcher, whose husband Denis died in 2003, has appeared increasingly frail recently and has reduced her public engagements. After a series of slight strokes she was advised in 2002 to give up public speaking.
Her 80th birthday celebrations were held at a London hotel, where political leaders from home and abroad feted her. She made a short speech of thanks. Last month she joined other distinguished Conservative figures for a service in Westiminster to commemorate the life of of Lord Biffen, the former Tory cabinet minister.