Letters: Private care homes only in it for profit

Police are probing Bupa-run Pentland Hill care home

Police are probing Bupa-run Pentland Hill care home

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Yet again we have police called into an Edinburgh care home for the elderly after the deaths of residents. The Bupa-run Pentland Hill home is one of so many that are run by commercial providers whose motivation is always dominated by the need for profit.

Such providers cannot be trusted to care for our old and frail relatives, whilst scooping up the very generous Scottish Government free-care-for-the-elderly funding, to line the pockets of shareholders. They just grab the money and provide as little care as they can get away with.

I unfortunately had a relative placed in such a care home for a short time three years ago. The home had a very good Care Commission report. At our visit in advance of her moving in, we were shown the best facilities on the sunniest side of the building, where residents requiring the least amount of care were accommodated.

My sister required the maximum of nursing and personal care for which they charged over £1200 per week. We were promised a special hospital bed and full nursing care. When she arrived she was placed in a tiny, dark room, at the back of the home, with the least sunshine.

No special bed was available, so mattresses were put on the floor to break her fall if she fell out of bed. Her room was in need of decoration, was dirty and smelly as the en-suite toilet extractor system did not work, and the toilet was being used mainly for storage. The room was the furthest away from the nursing station and on our very first visit we arrived to find that my sister was hoarse from screaming out for help, as her alarm system was not working.

Fortunately we were able to move my sister to another Edinburgh care home, the not-for-profit Viewpoint Housing Association St Raphael’s where for the last two years of her life she had the highest possible quality of care provided for the same weekly amount.

This surely is the sort of level of care that all of our relatives should be getting. But sadly there is no doubt in my mind that when the commercial, private providers get the contracts they simply revert to their usual behaviour of putting profit before care for our elderly.

Max Cruickshank, Iona Ridge, Hamilton

Religious beliefs are a load of nonsense

What nonsense from Veronica Wikman about so-called “indoctrination” at religious observance times in Scottish schools (Letters, September 17).

This is untrue and repeating the untruth does not render it any more accurate.

Gus Logan, York Road, North Berwick

Home for Trident . . how about London?

Much has been made, particularly by the “No” campaign about the difficulties of relocating Trident but, it seems to me, by including our friends in the equation, there are numerous possibilities.

The Westminster government could approach Ireland.

They have plenty of deep water inlets and might well be persuaded, provided the site was more than 20 miles from Dublin.

If the Irish said no, what about Norway? They have even more in the way of deep water so perhaps they might oblige if it was not too near Oslo.

Another option might be Iceland, although they may take the view that they have enough in the way of natural explosives in the shape of volcanoes.

What about New Zealand? They have a smaller population than Scotland and close ties to the “Old Country” but oops, I forgot, New Zealand, for some silly reason is non-nuclear.

However, I have carelessly omitted the most obvious choice of all . . . the Thames Estuary.

This is suitably close to England’s largest centre of population, and, as The Act of Union from 1707, Clause VI states: “All parts of the United Kingdom shall have the same Allowances, Encouragements and Drawbacks.”

This poses the question –Why has poor old London missed out on its share of Trident?

Joseph G Miller, Gardeners Street, Dunfermline

Big-hearted Capital folk work wonders

I AM writing to thank you and your readers for the support you’ve shown so far for British Heart Foundation (BHF) Scotland shops’ Great British Bag-athon.

BHF shops across the UK are aiming to raise one million bags of unwanted things throughout the month of September so we really need people in the Capital to join in, have a clear out and donate bags of unwanted things to their local BHF Scotland shop.

Taking part is easy, fill up one bag or several with unwanted clothes, shoes, handbags, books, DVDs and homewares and donate to your local BHF Scotland shop.

Every bag your readers fill makes a real difference in the fight for every heartbeat and could be worth £20 to BHF Scotland, helping to fund life-saving research in the fight against heart disease.

If you have lots of things to donate, why not take on a Bag-athon challenge and aim to raise anything from five, ten or even 15 bags for BHF Scotland shops?

You can even ask friends and family to help you reach your target – the more you bag, the more researchers the BHF can fund and the more lives they can save.

There’s still time for everyone to get involved and raise bags for the Great British Bag-athon. Those unwanted killer heels can help give heart disease the boot. You can even book a free collection from your door by calling 0844 412 5000.

For more information on the Great British Bag-athon visit bhf.org.uk/bagathon or pop into your local shop.

Best wishes and good luck!

Pauline Davie, area manager for BHF Scotland shops, Nicolson Street, Edinburgh