WITH a month to go before the General Election I was made acutely aware of the difficulties facing users of the National Health Service.

Last week I tried to get an appointment with the GP I have seen for many years.

He has detailed knowledge of my medical history and I trust his advice. He was booked for the next four weeks. My condition worsened and by Good Friday I had to visit the “Out of Hours” GP surgery at York Hospital housed in the A&E department.

I arrived on time for my 5.40pm appointment to find the combined A&E and Out of Hours services crammed into half the space I remember from my last visit two years ago. It was chaotic, hot and noisy. There were 50 to 60 people of all ages waiting to be seen including children.

There were two GPs on duty and one left at 9.30pm, leaving one for the whole population of York. I eventually saw the GP after five hours.

I don’t blame the staff.

They were kind, helpful and professional.

During the last few years we have seen closed walkin centres, longer waiting times, fewer district nurses and health visitors, an increase in staff taking medical leave because of stress.

Such a deterioration in service standards has been brought about by the Toryled coalition government.

We need to stand up for the NHS before it’s too late by voting this lot out of office on May 7.

Allen Humphries, Heworth, York.