We rightly are praising the NHS on reaching 70 years of service, and particularly the front line staff — nurses, doctors, consultants and their colleagues in specialist medical areas — who give their best, often in trying conditions and limited timescale.

Personally I have received treatment in hospital and from my GPs, practice nurses and also from East Midlands ambulance staff.

Nothing is too much trouble for them.

However, there is a downside.

In 1962 The Hospital Plan set out a ten-year vision that every population of 125,000 would get a district general hospital, a modest population figure if one takes into account that the national population statistics today state that we have a 66m total population.

So where does that leave Newark, with its increasing population at Fernwood and elsewhere within the catchment area of Newark Hospital/walk-in centre?

Surely our representatives at county and district level should be fighting for an improvement in our hospital services.

Having been a member of three local health trusts, I have  noted over recent years that the NHS (despite much excellent work and innovative medical procedures) has become more bureaucratic, largely unaccountable to the people it serves locally, and with too many management layers (taking money from basic health care) and a local of responsibility for poor and often negative decisions.

Ken Clarke (MP for Rush-cliffe) recently said that Margaret Thatcher had wanted to change our NHS to the American insurance system.

Given that the present government has sat on a situation where there are numerous vacancies for nurses, doctors and specialist staff (nationally) and done nothing about it, and given the time scale necessary for training them, all right-minded people should be concerned at their attitude.

There is always political rhetoric, many promises, but little is done. — Alan M. Waddington,  Old North Road, Carlton-on-Trent.