Letter: Care in crisis

Sir: David Aaronovitch was out of date in his comparison of poor ancillary workers with wonderful nurses. Despite the antics of the unions, until Mrs Thatcher introduced "efficiency savings" into the NHS we had a large number of hospitals with highly effective ward teams, including often excellent ancillaries.

Mrs Thatcher privatised ancillary services. The contracts were won by the lowest bidders, who made money by cutting pay. No wonder they appear disaffected.

Many would argue hospitals will never be as effective again until ancillaries are restored to NHS conditions of service and real ward teams are rebuilt.

DAVID DUFFY

Ipswich, Suffolk

The writer was an NHS manager 1963-1982

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