The Daily Telegraph

NHS medals


sir – I cannot praise NHS staff enough – especially those I know well at Royal Bournemout­h Hospital, which I visited again last week.

They work with a selfless dedication for their patients, yet appear not to be rewarded properly – either in their salaries or the respect they receive.

The dispute over pay and conditions must be resolved. Morale is suffering while vacancies soar, placing staff under immense pressure. I hope the Government will redouble efforts to secure an agreement.

Showing respect is another matter. In our military, those who reach 15 years of service are awarded the Long Service and Good Conduct Medal. The police, fire, ambulance and even crime agency services have similar medals.

While we applauded NHS staff during Covid, it might surprise people that they alone, of all this country’s public servants, are ineligible for national recognitio­n by the King.

It is high time this anomaly was ended, by creating a Long Service and Good Conduct Medal for NHS staff. Tobias Ellwood MP (Con)

London SW1

sir – I had a suspected heart attack and, after admittance to the cardiac ward of Queen Alexandra Hospital, Portsmouth, and various inconclusi­ve tests, am now awaiting news of an appointmen­t for an MRI scan of the heart at Southampto­n Hospital cardiac unit.

I am told the waiting list is long. If it is too long I shall have to consider going private, to gain some certainty as opposed to remaining in limbo.

At the next election, I will vote for any party that promises a root-andbranch reform of the NHS and acknowledg­es, as Allister Heath does (Comment, January 13), that private insurance and funding are essential. Stephanie Bell

Fareham, Hampshire

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