BRAVO to The Northern Echo for reporting that the NHS has lost the contract to provide healthcare for prisoners and young offenders (Echo, Jan 22).

A private company, Care UK, won only on price – but not on quality.

We are now seeing the slow but relentless dismantling of the NHS, which the Tories didn’t want in the first place.

They are just like the Republicans in the US who are implacably opposed to President Obama’s health care reforms.

What have local Tories to say about these shady dealings between private health providers and members of the Cabinet?

Why not come out and say you are 100 per cent behind the NHS and will oppose any measure to move to privatisation?

Hugh Pender, Darlington.

AFTER receiving a donation of £750,000 from private health care companies, the Conservative Party is aiming to introduce reforms of the NHS which will directly benefit these same private health care companies.

When asked by Easington MP Grahame Morris if this was “a conflict of interest?” (Echo, Jan 22), David Cameron wouldn’t give an answer, which could be seen as evidence to the contrary.

Given the recent MPs’ expenses scandal which damaged public trust in the Parliamentary system, how can such behaviour help rebuild public trust or cause people to believe that the Conservative Party’s desire to reform the NHS is motivated by national interest and not self interest?

CT Riley, Spennymoor.

DESPITE medical, transport and poor access problems, the idea of building a new hospital at Wynyard, near Billingham, is back (Echo, Jan 27).

The most obvious feature of the new plan is the one third reduction in the cost from £464m to £299m. How did this come about? Was the original figure just bad accounting with taxpayers’ money?

What and who will be in the running for the vacant hospital sites in Stockton and Hartlepool if this flawed development goes ahead?

R Harbron, Norton, Stockton.