12 MAY 2001, Page 29

From Christine Hodgson Sir: I was surprised to read in

your piece on the NHS that Bart's Hospital had closed. It was very much open three weeks ago when I was a surgical patient there, and I found the numerous medical and nursing students committed and enthusiastic. The ward I was in, though somewhat old-fashioned, was staffed by experienced and sympathetic staff — no sign of squalor, idleness or desperation.

Christine Hodgson

London E7