Letters: Choosing the right medical care isn’t always clear cut

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Have your say

I have mixed feelings regarding the use or perhaps misuse of A&E services at the ERI. (“We’re not lovin’ it!”, News, November 1).

I have used the A&E department at the ERI twice in the last six years. On my first visit I had had the misfortune of petroleum spirit being splashed into my eyes and received eye irrigation treatment and thankfully no long-term damage occurred. My second visit was in May this year when I was unfortunate enough to be caught under a tree in Edinburgh city centre which fell during high winds and although I was not seriously hurt I was in shock and suffered a fracture to my right hand.

At the time of both of these incidents was A&E the right place for me to go? Or should I have gone to the minor injuries clinic at the Western. Perhaps I should have waited a few hours and gone to the hospital in Fife where I live?

When something like the above happens most people will head for the nearest hospital. At the time of my accidents there was an element of shock and the last thing on my mind was worrying about which medical establishment was the most appropriate to attend.

If people are turning up at A&E with the cold or very minor cuts then I quite agree that this needs looking into and, in my opinion, a GP, pharmacist or NHS 24 should be the first point of contact. Anyone who does not reside in the UK should automatically be charged for any treatment they receive. When I had a minor illness in Australia it cost me £70 for treatment.

I would also be in favour of cracking down extremely hard on those who present at A&E as a direct result of being drunk and would even go as far as charging them for any treatment received. There is nothing more annoying than waiting for four hours in an A&E department for treatment for something that is not your fault and some moaning drunk is seen before you.

Alastair Macintyre, Webster Place, Rosyth, Fife

Critics ignore an inconvenient fact

I WAS intrigued by Janice Thompson’s letter (“Careful what you wish for, Darling”, Interactive, October 25) where she tries to lay all the blame for current tram difficulties on the previous city council administration.

What Janice conveniently forgot to mention was the fact that the signing of the final tram contract didn’t take place until May 1, 2008 – a full year after the local elections of 2007.

The Lib Dems and the SNP were in charge, and had been for a year, when those contracts were signed. And yes, all 16 Lib Dem and all 12 SNP councillors voted in favour of closing that deal.

I know it is an inconvenient fact. But it is a fact nevertheless.

Julie Marshall, Calder Gardens, Edinburgh

Writing’s on the wall for Labour

The SNP party conference in Inverness a fortnight ago attracted more than 2000 people. Saturday’s Labour Party conference in Glasgow mustered a gathering of just under 500.

Is there a more glaring example of how things have changed in Scottish politics?

Is it also perhaps the real reason why outgoing leader Iain Gray lost the plot in his farewell speech and turned what should have been a dignified farewell in to an embarrassing paranoid rant in which he blamed the SNP for everything but the weather?

Gavin Fleming, Websters Land, Grassmarket, Edinburgh

Who will guard the guardians?

I NOTE that Central Scotland Police will examine the response of Lothian and Borders Police regarding the arrest of one of the latter’s police officers (“New probe into police officer hit-and-run”, News, October 31).

This is the usual procedure when the police themselves are being investigated, although it’s not entirely independent. But who will carry out such investigations when all of Scotland is covered by one police force?

Steuart Campbell, Dovecot Loan, Edinburgh