Shadow health secretary Andrew Lansley's recent statement on public health has set out the Conservatives' stall in this area. He has weighed in to criticise parameters such as deprivation indicators. He is no doubt correct to say older people make more calls on the health service but neglects to mention that poorer and older people are likely to have the greater need for healthcare.

I fear we shall shortly be hearing more in this country along the lines of John McCain's policies, who summoned up the demonic vision of "a bureaucrat coming between you and your doctor". Actually, I expect the Conservatives will be working hard to encourage a system in which it is the norm for a cashier to come between you and your doctor.

Pat Hogen, Swindon