Letter: Political courage will resolve the NHS problems in London

Sir: On the morning after the poignant report of a terminally ill woman having to wait nine hours on a hospital trolley before she could be admitted to a bed on a ward (report, 7 April), I tried to order a copy of a Department of Health report on the care of the bereaved in accident and emergency departments.

At 9.15am, I rang the government offices and, having explained the nature of my request, was told, "The Department of Health doesn't open until 10 o'clock." Later in the day, I tried again and was put through to the Department of Health switchboard where I repeated my request. I was told that, "the library in Richmond House is shut today because of technical difficulties".

Fortunately, my business was not urgent, but I am left doubting whether a 10am start and a shut department at "Head Office" bode well for the National Health Service and for those who may need to use it in an emergency.

Yours faithfully,