This weekend saw a stream of fetes and festivals in Hampton, Twickenham and St Margarets.

These events remind us how much local volunteers contribute to our community and what a remarkable community spirit exists locally. We hear about a ‘broken society’ but I always come away from these events feeling very positive and optimistic.

Many people seemed surprised to see me as I had been in hospital a week before having an operation. These days, the NHS is remarkably good at surgical procedures (mine was an appendix removal). 36 hours after arriving in A&E in an ambulance I was out of hospital after key hole surgery. The doctors and nurses were a great advertisement for the NHS: professional and kindly. There was a lot of hand wiping (MRSA). Even the food was good.

I did notice, however, lots of little inefficiencies. Surgeons and anaesthetists were left standing around because there was a shortage of porters. The pharmacy had very long waiting times to collect a few simple drugs. Management is poor. Time and money are wasted.

My generally favourable impressions are reflected n the feedback I receive, as MP, about local hospitals. There are occasional horror stories but the West Middlesex and Kingston seem, in general, much better. Teddington was always popular. A lot of money has gone in, so that is what we should expect. However, no sooner of have hospitals been stabilised than we are headed back to a period of cuts.

Some of the NHS like mental health services face cuts never having had much of the dollops of money in the first place. We could face a new funding crisis in health: all the more reason to use reserves better.