Letters: Cutbacks are harming care in our hospitals

American songwriter Cole Porter. Picture: AP
American songwriter Cole Porter. Picture: AP
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As a recently retired nursing sister, I was horrified to read about the incidents that have occurred in the operating theatres at the Western General Hospital (News, November 18). I am, however, not surprised.

I was recently a patient there and saw first-hand how run off their feet the staff were. One told me that understaffing due to budget cuts meant many nurses could not give the care they wanted nor spend time with their patients, that nursing was not what it should be any more.

Surgery on patient. Picture: Getty

Surgery on patient. Picture: Getty

Prior to retirement, I was disgusted at the staff and equipment cuts required to keep within budget and could not see how a department could run safely and effectively.

I cannot help but wonder if the previously reported waiting times “fiddling” has put greater pressure on staff to achieve unrealistic targets without the necessary resources in place, and if staff are still being forced to work long shifts with on-call hours thereafter throughout the night, surely they must be tired?

Is it not time the Government woke up and realised that spending cuts cannot be made in healthcare without serious detrimental effects to patients?

M Simpson, Murrayfield, Edinburgh

No-show from Labour MPs was a disgrace

IT is a disgrace Labour MPs did not turn up to vote on the bedroom tax. The MPs who failed to show up were Douglas Alexander, Gordon Brown, Brian Donohoe, Frank Doran, David Hamilton, Jimmy Hood, Ann McKechin, Jim Murphy, Pamela Nash and Anas Sarwar.

A quarter of Labour MPs in total, 46, did not show up, ten from Scottish constituencies. If any of these MPs are in your constituency, it’s payback time, so don’t vote for them.

What makes it worse is it was a Labour motion. Between that and vote-rigging in Falkirk, does anyone believe Labour is a progressive, caring party on the side of ordinary people?

People are falling into rent arrears, the bedroom tax is putting people in debt. Labour MPs could have scrapped this tax if they had turned up.

J Hill, Stenhouse Avenue, Edinburgh

Split opinions about Olivier’s performance

Laurence Olivier’s “blacking up” for the part of Othello may have been permissible as you say (News, November 16).

What is much more doubtful and even offensive is the stereotypical and downright racist mannerisms he endowed him with, for example 
rolling his eyes and gesticulating. So, to say that Larry didn’t have a racist bone in his body might not be true. I can only go by his performance.

Gordon Crandles, Albion Terrace, Edinburgh

Cole Porter was right about Anything Goes

AGAINST public opinion, same-sex marriage is on the cards – “my partner and I” instead of “my husband and I” is now the norm.

We are told we have the highest number of single mothers in Europe. There’s talk of lowering the age of consent to 15.

“They” have destroyed children’s innocence by infecting them with too-early sex education. Instead of protecting them, this has made them streetwise, putting the information into practice.

We are living in a broken society. The late composer Cole Porter, pictured, was ahead of his time when he composed Anything Goes.

Stop this ugly world, I want to get off!

Sylvia M De Luca, Baberton Park, Juniper Green, Edinburgh

Scotland can’t afford to vote ‘No’ next year

The report from the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) which says that an independent Scotland would face a “fiscal gap” of 1.9 per cent of national income, compared to 0.8 per cent for the UK, is the best recruiting sergeant for those in favour of independence, highlighting the dangers of continuing to have policies for Scotland decided at Westminster.

The report actually underlines the case for an independent Scotland with full control of its own economy and the ability to take decisions that can secure a stronger and more prosperous future for the country. This new study also acknowledges that Scotland’s public finances are currently stronger than the UK’s, but then looks at what might happen over the next 50 years under current trends.

The IFS themselves admit their projections in this report are “inherently uncertain and could evolve differently if Scotland were independent rather than part of the UK; in addition they could be substantially effected by the policies chosen by the government of an independent Scotland”.

The whole point of independence is to equip Scotland with the competitive powers we need to make the most of our vast natural resources and human talent and to follow a better path from the current Westminster system which stifles growth and which is responsible for the damaging economic decisions which this report – and its projections – are based on.

Between 1977 and 2007, smaller independent European countries similar to Scotland grew their economies faster than ours, and if we had matched those rates that greater output would now be the equivalent of around £4.5 billion.

With Westminster in charge, nothing will be done. Scotland’s priorities aren’t Westminster’s priorities and we simply cannot afford a No vote.

Alex Orr, Leamington Terrace, Edinburgh