RECOVERING from a recent operation, I am now catching up on past editions of the Echo and just when I thought I had written my last letter I came across Mike Crawley’s letter (HAS, July 13) under the heading “Waiting times”.

I appreciate Mike does not criticise the NHS, my experience briefly is I received a consultation with a doctor at Carmel Surgery in January who referred me to Darlington Memorial Hospital where I received first class treatment on February 14 and earlier.

I was then referred to the James Cook Hospital where I attended for a full day on March 17 with an operation pending.

However lockdown came into effect and all operations which were not to be considered of an urgent nature were put on hold to ensure, if my memory is correct, the NHS was not overwhelmed because of the coronavirus.

During that time I was contacted three times by the department planning my operation asking how I was. I was able to advise them I was doing fine – no pain.

However on July 2 the hospital department finally caught up with me as my name was getting to the top of the list therefore the deed was done.

I think Mike is wrong in his final paragraph of his letter – personally I have not heard of anyone who has put any blame on the NHS for the delays in treatment.

In conclusion I would just like to say that my experience with the James Cook Hospital was brilliant.

Mike Taylor, Darlington.