Letters: Joint health and social care is the way forward

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Your piece of 6 August - ‘Council urged to retain joint care services’ reported on a Unison deputation to the Council’s Policy and Strategy Committee calling for the joint board model to be pursued as part of the drive towards Health and Social Care Integration.

I’m pleased to confirm that not only did the Committee agree to commit to that model, but the following day the board of NHS Lothian also agreed to continue with the joint Edinburgh Health and Social Care Partnership approach that we have been running in shadow form for around 18 months.

It was right for the options to be reviewed in light of recently published Scottish Government draft regulations, but that work is now complete.

There are massive challenges ahead with constrained public sector budgets and a growing demand for services, particularly care and support for the vulnerable.

I believe the partnership approach is the right one for Edinburgh with the Council and NHS working with the unions, the voluntary sector and service users and carers to develop new ways of working to deliver the transformation that is required to shift the balance of care from institutional settings to a more community based approach and support people to live as independently as possible for as long as possible.

I look forward to continuing to work with partners to develop this important agenda.

Councillor Ricky Henderson, Convenor for Health and Social Care, City of Edinburgh Council

Tax and spend does not compute at airport

I was disappointed to read in the News that Edinburgh Airport and the local MSP are both calling for more taxpayers’ money to be spent on roads at the airport.

Most weeks in the Evening News Mr Dewar and Mr Keir are calling for airport passenger duty to be cut. Now they are calling for more taxpayer money to be spent on infrastructure.

I’m sorry, but you can’t have both tax cuts and increased public spending - a Primary One arithmetic class could tell you this.

Perhaps they could reconsider their constant calls for tax give aways to themselves in the future.

M Smythe, Dalry Road, Edinburgh

Darling asks the big question on currency

Fair play to Alistair Darling for asking the question that mattered most - what will our currency be if we break-up the UK?

Alex Salmond previously told us that “the pound was sinking like a stone” and that we should join the Euro.

People in Greece, Ireland, Spain and Portugal would laugh out loud at that notion as they have seen the damage done by a currency zone.

Thomas McCafferty, Drumbrae South, Edinburgh

Let’s keep our family of nations together

Congratulations to Glasgow for hosting a terrifically successful Commonwealth Games.

Throughout the Games the commentators used the expression ’Home Nations’ for Team Scotland, England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Surely this is exactly what the United Kingdom is all about. It is the ‘roof’ over the home of our individual nations, allowing for national identity and yet shared values, culture and language.

Athletes from the Home Nations represented this perfectly. Over the last fortnight they have performed for their own nation. Yet it was obvious that collectively they shared success and disappointment because more often than not those same athletes will be representing Team GB together.

It is often said that sport is a mirror for society. At the moment our athletes have the best of both worlds - a national team and a home within the team of the United Kingdom.

The people of Scotland can have the best of both worlds too if they vote NO to separation.

Let’s keep the family of nations together in the United Kingdom

Paul Beswick, Gillespie Street, Edinburgh

Polio is still a devastating danger

When I was two years old I was struck down by polio. I was fortunate; I survived the virus that has killed so many. There are around 120,000 polio survivors living in Britain and I am proud to be counted as one of them.

It really saddens me that all too often I hear people speak of polio as being a ‘disease of the past’ in Britain when in fact there are many thousands of people, just like me, who are still living with the devastating effects of the virus.

For that reason I teamed up with The British Polio Fellowship, and am honoured to be their ambassador, raising awareness about the often unspoken, hidden plight of the UK’s polio survivors.

Readers may have seen me unveiling an amazing dress, specifically designed to accommodate a wheelchair. It was designed by a great British fashion designer, Aleah Leigh, out of 3500 recycled train tickets to help illustrate that something forgotten can once again not only capture people’s attention but can have a true, valuable purpose in ways people had not imagined. Just like polio survivors.

I want polio to capture people’s attention again. The effects of the virus still affect people in the UK and for many of them, life is about to get a whole lot harder.

Post-Polio Syndrome (PPS) will affect 80% of polio survivors; it makes limbs more painful and mobility even more difficult.

We are in great need of your support and attention. So please don’t ignore us, google The British Polio Fellowship and discover the fantastic work they do, and consider supporting the charity. Our campaign hashtag is #polioppsdress.

Anne Wafula-Strike, MBE, Ambassador, The British Polio Fellowship