The Blair/Brown Government has continually boasted of the public taxes (they call it the investment) they have shovelled into the NHS and of its improvement in their hands.
If my recent experience of being a patient at Warwick Hospital is an example, I cannot believe it was any worse before their "coming".
My doctor had reason to call an ambulance to take me to Warwick Hospital urgently. The paramedics were fantastic people and professional.
We arrived at the hospital at approximately 1.15pm and shortly afterwards I was taken to a small room where I stayed, on a trolley, until 6pm, without seeing a doctor - not even to say "hello, how are you?".
At 6pm, I was taken to the ward, where I was literally dumped, with my bag dropped unceremoniously on to the bedside table. I stayed by the side of the unmade bed until 8.30pm, in a sweltering hot mixed ward, dressed in a flimsy NHS apron-type garment, without seeing a doctor.
I decided to telephone my daughter, who lives in Stratford, and I left the hospital without seeing a doctor.
All day without seeing or speaking to a doctor. Unbelievable, but true.
My daughter was able to venture through three wards, freely, before finding me.
I had nothing to drink or eat all day, until about 7pm, when I was able to beg one cup of tea.
When I told the registrar of my desire to leave the ward, he replied by saying "feel free, it isn't a prison". A urine sample was left on the table by the side of my unmade bed.
A nurse, passing by, eventually noticed it and asked me what it was and took it away. It would be my wish not to return.
The heart wards seemed to be everything a cardiac ward should not be and the nurses' station was hectic and noisy.
The NHS, after 60 years' experience, should and has to be better than this. I am telling you only part of the story.
This is why, I am sure, we want smaller hospitals and not the dinosaur/impersonal super-hospitals of which Alan Last of Kings Norton is such a fan...
In fairness to Warwick Hospital, I have received an apology for my poor treatment.
Douglas J Wathen
Salford Priors Nr Evesham, Worcs.
Different line of thought on trains
Once again Birmingham Post arts critic Terry Grimley turns his mind to writing about transport, this time somehow linking railway high-speed to Midland pseudo-metro.
In considering the concept of a high-speed rail line for the West Midlands, he says "this line could not reach the north-west without at least passing through the outskirts of Birmingham".
Actually the shortest, fastest and easiest-to-build route from London to the North-west would of course be via or near Nuneaton, Tamworth and Rugeley, thus avoiding the already built-up areas and local rail routes of Coventry, Birmingham, Sandwell and Wolverhampton.
The idea of high-speed rail is for straight level clear tracks and few or no stations or other delays until the terminus.
Knives: Punishment must fit the crime
The answer to knife crime is so simple, if only our craven Government will accept it and repeal the Human Rights legislation forced on us by the European Union.
Those using knives are cowards, so when they are convicted, after sentencing they should receive a good thrashing, in public, with their screams being heard, then committed to prison.
Cruel, yes. A real deterrent, certainly. Come to that matter, anyone committing crimes of violence should receive the same.
Punishment must fit the crime making those far more likely to think twice of their own skins before using knives.
What other way is there to stop this terrible loss of young life with its untold misery, one of the latest being in West Bromwich?
UK Independence Party.