I’M pleased to see that the MP for Taunton Deane is finally showing such a concern at the lengthy waiting times for an ambulance.

However, I would highlight that this is not a new problem: I first wrote to her on this topic six years ago, after waiting for an ambulance that never actually arrived despite waiting in excess of an hour.

We are assured that more money is being added to the NHS budget, and the previous Prime Minister promised thatthey would recruit more staff.

But the reality is that there are serious shortfalls in the numbers of doctors, nurses, paramedics as well as other hospital staff; and there is no actual sign of that changing any time soon.

The truth is that Rebecca Pow’s party has been in power for 12 years now; and the problems within the NHS have been getting steadily worse over that time.

I would also highlight that there have been five different Secretaries of State for Health in the last five years alone.

With such a high turnover at the top, it is hardly surprising that the NHS is suffering from excessive policy changes.

I also note that an anonymous letter (Gazette September 29) suggests that the problems are “due to the country being over populated”.

If that were true, there would be massive unemployment; yet we know that the NHS, Care, Agricultural, Hospitality, Logistics, Retail sectors are all suffering from problems with trying to recruit staff.

What many do not realise is that there has been a concerted effort over the last decade to increase the amount of services provided to the NHS by private businesses.

In some areas, I can understand the value of this, but it does seem that this policy is actually causing significant operational problems.

There needs to be a change; and soon. If things continue as they are, I regret to say we may end up with a service that has been hollowed out, in order to allow private investors to raid the public purse for their own benefit.

I suspect then, we will finally understand the true value of the NHS.