SIR: I recently suffered a mini-stroke and was taken to RHCH by ambulance. Apart from the two paramedics, I was, over the next hours, treated by two nurses, a doctor and a stroke consultant. I had an x-ray and CT scan and was provided with drugs from the pharmacy so I could go home. The underfunded NHS and all its personnel were there for me and is always there for all of us. It depends on the commitment and dedication of its staff.

My relatives include an intensive care nurse, a psychiatrist with Ebola experience on standby for the London Nightingale, a gynaecologist redeployed to work with Covid-positive children and also other friends and family in low-paid, admin roles, the essential cogs that keep the great NHS machine functioning.

The furore over clapping for NHS staff and carers misses the point. Whether the Thursday night applause continues or not, I would urge everyone to light a candle or, at least, tie a knot in a handkerchief to remind themselves to continue their support in the post-Corona future when the Government stops talking about the "heroes" and reverts to demonising the health unions fighting for better pay and conditions. Clapping and campaigning for medals or statues is the easy bit. "Our" NHS and care workers will need us to campaign on their behalf, support them at the ballot box and most likely on the picket lines too.

Karen Barratt,

Byron Avenue,