Letters: ERI staff deserve plaudits

Smoking in cars: 'Non-existent issue'. Picture: NHS
Smoking in cars: 'Non-existent issue'. Picture: NHS
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AS A very recent heart attack victim, I’d like share my NHS treatment experience and the service I received.

Edinburgh Royal Infirmary, where I was treated, has often been the target of criticism. Well, I’d like to put the record straight.

I have to say, from the first signs of having heart attack symptoms, to getting treatment and being discharged, the attention I received was unquestionably first class.

Being a COPD sufferer, which affects your respiratory system, and having digestion problems that causes stomach discomfort, created a dilemma for me to identify accurately heart attack symptoms, so the first indications I got I put down to indigestion, but after three hours of discomfort with heart attack symptoms, at 12.15am, still reluctant to contact 999, I called NHS 24 for advice.

Yes, there is quite a delay before you actually speak to someone who can make an assessment, but this part of the procedure is absolutely necessary to get all your records and personal details.

Within ten minutes of my call, an ambulance arrived and two paramedics gave me a quick examination in the house before moving me into the ambulance to wire me up to heart monitors and they were able to relay from my heart the readings directly to the medical staff at the ERI, who then instructed that I be admitted immediately.

Because the hospital was now armed with his information, on arrival I was met by a prep team of at least five people who very quickly wired me up to monitors and made all the preparations for the next stage.

I was then taken to the operations room to be met by another team of assorted medical experts and within about 45 minutes the blockage to my artery had been removed and a stent fitted to free up blood flow.

Stabilised, I was then placed in a recovery ward for just over 36 hours, where I was very spoiled by the attention of the caring staff.

I found the hospital food menu offered had a reasonable choice, food was well presented, tasty, hot and of adequate proportions.

General hygiene of the premises was of a high standard. Hand-sterilising cream was attached to the end of every bed.

Every morning, cleaning staff pulled out all beds, chairs and cabinets into the centre of the floor, ensuring all floor areas were cleaned, curtain rails, shelves and ledges were all wiped down and throughout the day or night, any spillages were immediately cleaned up.

For the duration of my stay, I was treated with professionalism, great kindness, compassion and respect and not without a bit of appreciated humour thrown in. All this attention I received despite the obvious shortage of staff that is, in my opinion, underpaid for the responsibilities they have and a system seriously starved of funds.

In all, from arriving in hospital to getting home sorted, was within a period of about 60 hours – that’s remarkable.

I applaud all staff from senior consultants, to the most junior of nurses and the cleaning personnel. Thank you.

Frank Ferri, Newhaven Main Street, Edinburgh

Smoking in cars is a non-existent issue

Any new law – especially one restricting existing civic rights – must meet an identified need, and MSP Jim Hume’s intended bill to outlaw smoking in private cars with children on board fails that first test.

This is non-existent problem in my experience, and it falls to Mr Hume to provide relevant incidence figures, backed by specific evidence of improvement where the measure has already been applied.

I do not mean the usual vague “research has shown” or figures plucked from the air. Many arguments proposed by anti-smoking campaign groups range from unsubstantiated to untrue.

Such a ban differs from the existing one in applying to private space and to children only, which tends to the suspicion that the next stage will be to apply it also to adults. It would therefore make more sense to go directly to that stage. It seems to have escaped notice that smokers themselves breathe in secondary smoke, so in this case even a driver on his own should be similarly “protected”.

I am not arguing either for or against smoking as a habit, but politicians should have minimal licence to interfere with citizens engaging in any legal activity. I also write as one such citizen grateful for the existing public smoking limits.

Robert Dow, Ormiston Road, Tranent

Squeezed migrants will head for Scotland

New curbs on immigrants’ access to a range of public services were unveiled in the Queen’s Speech.

The UK Government proposes to remove from immigrants the right to free NHS treatment, limit welfare benefits, and restrict their rights to social housing and the availability to legal aid.

The Government is at last listening to the real concerns of the people, especially now that Ukip are a force to be reckoned with.

However, these changes relating to the NHS, social housing and legal aid will not apply to Scotland since they are devolved issues.

We now see the spectre of a significant rise in the number of immigrants travelling to Scotland to access these benefits resulting in even more pressures on our NHS, schools, housing stock and off course our unemployment levels.

A Scottish Government spokesman said: “Overseas visitors will always be welcome.”

Alex Salmond will regret these words as many thousands of formerly “Yes” voters will now change to “No” voters.

Clark Cross, Springfield Road, Linlithgow