Sir: During Angela Lambert's most recent spell in hospital ('A whiff of NHS decay', 28 December), I and my husband were witnessing my mother-in-law's slow progress towards death in a voluntary residential and nursing home. One of the most striking impressions we have of this harrowing time is of a young male nurse who, through unhurried perseverance and the gentlest of handling, made it possible for her to take fluids and to know that she was cared for. The sensitivity and skill with which he attended to her needs was humbling and inspiring.
Such qualities are sought in all who care for the sick and vulnerable, regardless of gender. It is foolish and perverse to suggest that tenderness and compassion are the special attributes of female nurses at a time when such resources are needed so desperately.