Letters: Royal Victoria site should continue to benefit elderly

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May I take this opportunity to congratulate the staff of the original Royal Victoria Hospital and its new name and location, Royal Victoria Building, on the Western General Hospital site.

All the staff with no exception have been brilliant during the past year my wife has been a patient with them. They are a caring, patient group of staff even when at times their patience is stretched to the limit, coping not only with the patients but also their relatives who can be a bit demanding.

The new facility is a most modern building with large en-suite rooms for every patient and handsets that can call a nurse, as well as operate the lights and TV. It truly is a hospital of the 21st century and has a multitude of electronic gadgetry.

There has been much speculation regarding what is to happen to the RVH site which was originally a TB sanatorium, opened back in the 1890s and which evolved into a Medicine for the Elderly in the 1950s. The site was originally chosen by the pioneer of treatment for TB, Dr R W Philip, for its superb grounds in giving the patients “filtered air” through the surrounding trees, this being the only treatment available before antibiotics, and was named worldwide as the “Edinburgh Scheme”.

I sincerely hope that the NHS and their planning consultants may turn this beautiful site into something beneficial for the present ageing population, such as long term care or sheltered housing.

Alan Ross FIBMS, Craigleith Hill Gardens, Edinburgh

Edinburgh angels were so kind to me

On Thursday, September 27 I was going to Waverley Station with my friend when I had an accident in Princes Street. I fell down a manhole and was trapped by my leg.

I want to thank the three people who came to my rescue. Very sadly I didn’t get their names. They were absolute angels, one young lady rang for an ambulance and a young man managed to get me out and then help me to sit down in the road.

The ambulance came and the two paramedics, Thomas and Kevin, were wonderful with me and also my friend who was badly shaken.

The A&E department was busy but the staff were so good, even though rushed off their feet. After nearly six hours, 22 stitches and two X-rays I was allowed to go.

The next day I had to travel to Cornwall. The staff at Waverley were also marvellous, taking me to the train in a wheelchair, seeing to my luggage and finding a double seat for me.

I cannot praise those three young people, the paramedics and staff at the hospital and British Rail enough. So thank you to all you Edinburgh angels.

Glenis Bouffler, Commercial Road, Copperhouse, Hayle, Cornwall

Borders railway may be next ‘tram saga’

As a railway “buff” I took a trip to Galashiels today (Tuesday, October 9) to see what preparatory work had been done on the Borders railway.

Little did I realise that Martin Hannan’s article on the subject would be in the paper.

I walked for about three miles along the old trackbed north of Galashiels until greeted by a bold sign saying “Do not proceed... big drop to river”! I sadly saw no sign of any work being done, in fact the only signs that the railway was reopening were compulsory purchase orders on posts, incidentally saying it was due to open in late 2014.

I had not realised that the excellent Cockatoo pub and restaurant would have to close and also the A6106. There has only been a slight deviation from the original Waverley route, so why this drastic action?

I spoke to some people in Gala about the railway and none said they would use it as their bus passes would not apply. This is quite serious as about 95 per cent of the passengers on the X95 were pensioners, including myself.

A last thought... I can see no way that this will be up and running in two years. Are we to have another tram saga here?

Scott Miller, Coillesdene Avenue, Joppa, Edinburgh

Team behind project hasn’t got a clue

When the trams project began, there were banners all over Edinburgh that read “Taking you to the shops in 2011”.

It just goes to show that the people who gave this tripe the go-ahead did not, and still don’t, have a clue what they are doing or of the stress they have caused. They should hang their clueless heads in shame.

Alan Lough, Boroughdales, Dunbar