Having to go to hospital recently by ambulance, I spent 17 hours waiting for a bed at Treliske – no joke at the age of 88, feeling unwell and no toilet facilities until arrival.

Needing the toilet meant being wheeled out into the rain, then through the hospital corridors, which were lined with people on trollies (mainly OAPs) partially covering their faces with a blanket – I assume to cover the embarrassment of being on view. Then back to the ambulance, with the trip being repeated a while later.

The ambulance crew, plus hospital staff, were excellent.

Seeing these people work alongside every other worker in the whole of the industry makes you realise that they are the engine room of society.

Pay rates naturally vary according to skill and responsibility, but being part of the same machine, no one at the lower end should have to rely on food banks, while at the top end executives on six-figure salaries receive massive bonuses, and people given lordships for collecting other people's money to give to charity.

Also the borrowed billions to cope with Covid – a fair amount ending up in the pockets of incompetent firms as a reward for being party donors.

The last decade of mismanagement and poor appointments, including the uncontrolled influx of unregulated immigration, have brought this great country to be the only one in Europe to be in recession - it is a disgrace.

This piece is not meant to be political. If Rishi Sunak can get us out of this mess by all means vote him in again; if not, consider the other choices and put your snobbery to one side (perhaps it would help to name the three main parties 1, 2 and 3 so that those who have managed to get one foot on the social ladder can place a cross to a number rather than contaminate their pseudo status with that awful word “Labour”.)

Ruling a country and satisfying everyone is very difficult, but unless we change, lying in an ambulance for 17 hours, feeling unwell will seem like a doddle in the park.

J C Perkins