Letter: Clinical NHS

IF NURSING care is not part of health care, how is it that nursing constitutes the largest part of salary costs in the NHS? (''Inheritance? What inheritance?'', 20 November).

If those needing nursing care have to pay, why not all those needing ''nursing'' in all areas of health care, not just those in nursing homes?

We have a National Health Service, based on National Health Acts, not a National ''Clinical'' Service. If this is supposed to be the basis of people having to pay then why not those benefiting from preventive measures that do not involve ''clinical'' care (ie, medical treatment)?

The NHS is supposed to care for those who are sick - equitably, and ''free at the point of delivery''. It should not discriminate against those least able to defend themselves - the old and the handicapped.

M C T Morrison FRCS

Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon

Swindon, Wiltshire