It seems strange that the government criticises Vauxhall Motors and Corus for making people redundant without consultation and then does even worse with its own employees in the NHS.

Last July, community health council employees learnt of their impending demise from the media. Now the same has happened to people who work for the NHS Executive.

You just do not treat people like this, especially good people who have worked hard for you for many years.

It is even worse if you follow this sort of action with gagging orders on many of those affected. Health secretary Alan Milburn has a lot to learn about human relations.

Many of his recent actions deserve to be taken to the European Court of Human Rights. People who have worked for the NHS all their lives are living in limbo, expected to carry on doing a decent job until the government gets round to sacking them, sometime in the next parliament.

I could go on to write of the chaos that has resulted from the collapse of the Health and Social Care Bill. In the middle of an election campaign, I do not have the time to work this all out.

Scrutiny powers have been given to local authorities, duplicating some of the powers of CHCs, which have not yet been abolished. I suspect that, in other places, things have been abolished but the replacement bodies have not been formed.

Perhaps Alan Milburn deserves some sort of award for creating more demoralisation and chaos than anybody would have believed possible in such a short time.

I can find lots of losers and no winners from his exploits so far.

Councillor John C Murphy Liberal Democrat parliamentary candidate Hitchin & Harpenden