In 1979 when I was deputy director of finance for Merton and Sutton health authority, my wife collapsed with an aneurysm and was taken to St Helier Hospital.

After initial consultation in accident and emergency, she was removed to a separate room under the care of a member of the medical staff who said that my wife must have a nurse with her all the time.

I stayed in the room with them, but after some 15 minutes the nurse said she was hungry and went off, leaving me alone with my wife.

I suddenly realised that my wife did not appear to be breathing and called for help.

She was eventually resuscitated, but her life was never the same and she suffered from severe memory loss.

I later consulted solicitors to make a claim for negligence.

However, they were unable to obtain my wife's relevant file and were told that it had been lost.

When I complained I was told that in view of my position with the health authority it would be better if I forgot about the negligence claim.

Enough said.

Terry Dooris Purley Surrey