Mary Tapp is a living example of why more money needs to be invested by the Government on improving health care.

She broke her hip after a fall on Monday but waited three days for treatment after her operation was postponed twice.

Mrs Tapp, who lives in Saltdean, is 91 and extremely frail. She was in great pain, despite being given medication.

Staff at the Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton did their best to make her comfortable but she had to wait while more urgent patients were treated.

Under the Budget plans of Chancellor Gordon Brown, billions of pounds will be pumped into the National Health Service in an effort to improve treatment for many people such as Mary Tapp.

But the improvements will not happen immediately. Recruiting suitable staff and building new hospitals is a long process, which has to be got right.

There is also the awkward question of whether throwing money at the NHS or switching to a scheme of social insurance is the best way forward.

Mr Brown believes his enormous investment will do the trick. Most people of all political persuasion or of none will hope it works.

The danger for Labour will be that if substantial numbers of patients continue to receive the unacceptable treatment meted out to this old lady, they will be disillusioned enough to vote for another party or not at all.