The Daily Telegraph
sir – Your Leading Article (September 15) asks why the NHS cannot operate as efficiently as the Armed Forces and other parts of the public sector. The answer is quite simple: the wrong people are running it.
East Coker, Somerset
sir – The NHS will be open during the Queen’s funeral, as it is on every public holiday (Leading Article, September 15). Staff are used to making sacrifices to ensure they are there for patients.
Many services will run as normal, including Covid boosters, and urgent and emergency care. The decision to scale back some non-urgent services is made locally and is certainly not about prioritising grief over patients’ needs. Front-line workers are not immune to the challenges of a bank holiday, such as childcare arrangements and reduced public transport – and neither are patients.
All this will inform local services’ decisions, but it is not that case that the NHS is turning its back on patients. Matthew Taylor
Chief executive, NHS Confederation London SW1
sir – As an ardent royalist, I was looking forward to watching the late Queen’s funeral on television on Monday. However, when my managers asked me if I planned to cancel my lists, I asked myself: “What would Queen Elizabeth have wanted me to do?”
Thanks to those managers (about whom I normally have little good to say) and the like-minded NHS workers who agreed to support my procedure lists, they are going ahead as planned. Dr Nicholas Mark Hacking