First of all I would like to thank Dr Rouse, from the Riverside medical centre, Hullbridge, Ian Harvey, the paramedic, and all of the Southend Hospital staff concerned, for the way my 72-year-old mother was treated during a recent heart scare.

However, I must also express my dismay at the way all the cutbacks have affected our emergency services.

On May 4, at about noon, on instruction from our doctor, I phoned for an ambulance to attend my mother due to a suspected heart attack.

The lady who answered was very helpful and talked us through a few things to do while waiting and said help was on the way.

We were panicking a bit by now, but eventually, just before 1pm, a paramedic arrived and did all his tests and made my mum comfortable before calling for back up to take her to hospital.

He was told there was no ambulance available and they couldn’t say how long it would be. After several calls from the paramedic, an ambulance arrived – two hours after my initial call.

Thanks to everyone involved, my mum has now made a full recovery, but I hate to think what could have happened if she’d had a major heart attack.

It seems the NHS should cut back on some of their pen-pushers with their huge salaries and get more people back on the frontline where they are needed.

Our doctors, nurses and medical staff work their hearts out, but must sometimes feel that they are fighting a losing battle.

Susan Puzey
Pooles Lane