THE last year has been a tough one for everyone involved with the local health service.
The long waits for hospital treatment and the poor standard of care experienced by many elderly patients have been well-documented.
So too has the strain which this has put on staff whose dedication to their patients often takes them well beyond the call of duty.
The only consolation right now is that decisive action has been taken and NHS Lothian has at least laid out a clear plan for turning things around.
It is in this context that we have to consider the latest complaint against staff at the Edinburgh Royal infirmary.
We do not know yet know the full facts of what happened at the ERI stroke unit when Dr James Logan’s mother was being treated there last week. NHS Lothian management will no doubt get to the bottom of it and take any appropriate action.
In doing so, they will recognise that no-one should have to put up with the sort of treatment about which Dr Logan has complained.
Everyone has a right to courtesy and good communication when they or their loved ones are ill. Staff shortages are no excuse for failing to live up to those standards.
The importance of delivering care in a compassionate way – as has been repeatedly highlighted by hospital inspectors, including those who have visited the ERI – will also be at the front of their minds.
However, in the meantime, we must not forget something that Evening News readers often write to the paper to spell out. The care provided by the vast majority of our nurses and doctors is first-class, despite whatever strain they may be under.
Give peace a chance
Former Lord Provost George Grubb’s plan to make Edinburgh a force for peace in the world has got to be admired.
The Capital played a major – if relatively little-known – part in bringing together the opposing sides during the Cold War.
There is absolutely no reason why the city cannot play a similar role in bringing together warring factions in other conflicts.
Representatives from Darfur and Sudan have already visited our beautiful city to discuss the Edinburgh Peace Initiative.
It just goes to show that Edinburgh – whether or not it is as the capital of a newly independent nation – is perfectly capable of playing a bigger role on the world stage in years to come.