Letters: In-house staff would help hospital mop up its mess

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IS our NHS fast becoming a rudderless commodity? The latest episode is that of the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary having difficulties with keeping domestic staff to keep the hospital clean according to the standards required.

Domestic services are run by the private company Consort, which has a questionable record.

In-house services are still the best way to run ancillary services vital to the health and welfare of the patients.

A perfect example of how in-house services kept a high standard both in ancillary and nursing care could be found at the old Eastern General Hospital.

This was one of the few hospitals to have all of its services in-house and it proved to be the most cost-effective in the Lothians.

Having worked in the Edinburgh General Hospital for 20 years and as the senior shop steward, I can say we had a well-organised health and safety committee which oversaw any problems with domestic staffing or anything which would affect the running of the hospital.

Chas Dennis, Niddrie Marischal Road, Edinburgh

SNP choosy about their supporters

THE decision by the SNP to ban expats voting in the separation referendum is very odd.

During last year’s election, the SNP paraded a Scottish singer who lives in England, or is it Vienna, two Scottish actors who live in America – including one that had rejected Scotland to such a degree he now has American citizenship – a businessman who pays his taxes in Monaco and of course their most famous backer, who pays his taxes in Spain.

Seems like they only have respect for Scots who back them in an election.

Dave Cochrane, Spottiswoode Street, Edinburgh

Let’s not waste our ‘black gold’

A REPORT by oil economist and chief executive of the Royal Society of Chemistry, Dr Richard Pike, as well as other petrol experts, points to the fact that North Sea oil will last for another 100 years, twice as long as previous estimates.

In 1975, and only revealed under Freedom of Information after 30 years, the leading Scottish economist Gavin McCrone, presented to the Cabinet office a paper revealing that North Sea oil could have made an independent Scotland as prosperous as Switzerland.

An independent Scotland’s budget surpluses as a result of the oil boom, wrote Professor McCrone, would be so large as to be “embarrassing”. Scotland’s currency “would become the hardest in Europe, with the exception perhaps of the Norwegian Krone”. From being poorer than their southern neighbours, Scots would have become richer and been in a position to lend heavily to England and “this situation could last for a very long time into the future”.

While McCrone was saying that an independent Scotland would be Europe’s Switzerland, the Unionists were saying that it would be like Bangladesh.

With another 100 years of “black gold” left surely we cannot be stupid enough to make the same mistake again, can we?

Alex Orr, Leamington Terrace, Edinburgh

Is work a step in right direction?

I’VE been watching the work being done over the past few months at the Waverley Steps.

Has anyone else noticed that it looks like the top of the new escalators are literally right as you walk in the new glass doors?

Can you imagine trying to jump on to that with your huge suitcase with everyone piling through the doors behind you? I might continue to use the entrance on Waverley Bridge.

Margaret Wilson, Gilmerton, Edinburgh

Aid shows people are kind at heart

I WOULD like to express my thanks to the people who helped me on Tuesday of last week at about 7.30pm on Princes Street near the Balmoral Hotel.

I had a fall and dislocated my shoulder. People came to my aid, called an ambulance and stayed with me until it arrived.

An episode like this shows the essential kindness of people, which is encouraging.

Susan Begley, Elgin Terrace, Edinburgh