Letter: NHS staff driven to despair

Sir: May I offer an encouraging thought for the year ahead? At a time when so many brickbats are hurled at the National Health Service, it makes a pleasant change to be able to give unstinted praise.

My wife, a stroke victim without any real prospect of recovery, is a patient on Priory Ward of Guisborough General Hospital. There, during the festive season, no effort was spared to provide good cheer. Everyone, including regular visitors like myself, partook of an excellent Christmas lunch. The nursing and support staff gave of their best to provide celebratory warmth and merriment, and they certainly succeeded.

Of course, all this has nothing to do with NHS internal markets: it is about a real concern for the happiness of people struck down by illness. So long as such admirable spirit continues to prevail in our hospitals, all is not lost.