Letters: Royal seal of approval for hospital blueprint

Other hospitals should follow the single rooms model. Picture: Sean Bell
Other hospitals should follow the single rooms model. Picture: Sean Bell
Have your say

I read your story about what happened to the old Royal Victoria Hospital after it was relocated to feature single rooms in a state-of-the-art premises named the Royal Victoria Building within the grounds of the Western General Hospital (News, May 22).

The reasons for it to be replaced and relocated was lack of diagnostic departments, such as the Western General has, and patients had to be transferred by ambulance to those departments, which is usually quite a traumatic experience for the elderly, frail patients.

Also, the building was falling into disrepair as much of it dated from the early 1960s.

Lastly, one of the concerns with the elderly in hospitals is the spread of infectious diseases such as the Winter Vomiting Bug – or Norovirus – which can be lethal in the elderly.

In the winter prior to the Royal Victoria being relocated, this was quite prevalent.

This year in the new Royal Victoria Building, with all single rooms, the case of infectious diseases, especially Norovirus, has been contained without any need for ward closures, as had happened at the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary.

This, I think, makes the relocation of the Royal Victoria into state-of-the-art premises something of which the National Health Service can be proud.

The main concern now is – will the NHS, in trying to trying to retain the Royal Victoria Hospital, convert the present 30-bed wards, which consist of four six-bed rooms and six single rooms, into all single rooms?

They have proved this works in the new Royal Victoria, so there is no excuse for not carrying out work on the old premises to the same standard.

Alan Ross, Craigleith Hill Gardens, Edinburgh

Look elsewhere to accommodate pupils

WHEN I read that a primary one class in Stockbridge is set to have 46 pupils (News, May 30), my first thought was to pity the poor teacher in charge, who will have a trickier test than any of the children will ever have in their schooldays in trying to remember everyone’s name.

It shows how popular Stockbridge is, especially among young families, but a solution cannot be too difficult for the education department to find. For a start, there are bound to be other primary schools in areas not so far away which are less popular than Stockbridge and consequently have fewer kids on the roll.

Failing that, what about drafting in a supply teacher and splitting the class in two?

If there is not sufficient space at Stockbridge Primary School to house another class, there must at least be a hall or similar facility not too far away which could accommodate the children.

George Stevens, St John’s Road, Corstorphine

Margo can’t back up independence views

Margo MacDonald tells us rightly that Britons are getting poorer but neglects to mention that this has happened in many other European nations and also in the United States. In fact, the UK has fared better than many of these countries.

There is no doubt things are hard here at the moment, but she does condescend to give a single reason why things will go better if Scotland splits off from its main trading partner.

Her only argument seems to be the suggestion that we would be better at running our own show, but nothing I have seen of Holyrood so far suggests to me that this is likely to be the case.

Scotland is the second most prosperous region in the UK outside of London. We have control of domestic issues already through our devolved parliament.

Edinburgh, in particular, is full of highly intelligent and educated young immigrants coming to work here, simply because the country is doing so well.

Why risk all that by breaking up the most successful political union the world has ever seen?

She does refer to Scotland’s resources. I assume she means oil. But the real oil boom now is the shale oil revolution in the USA, which will drive down the price of oil.

Donald McBride, Craigleith Hill Crescent, Edinburgh

Religious recruitment has no place at school

On Monday, Ms Veronica Wikman will stand in Edinburgh City Council chambers and present her petition to remove religious observance from the city’s non-denominational schools. She will be supported by members of both Edinburgh Secular Society and The National Secular Society.

The polarised debate over this issue demands that the council organise a voters’ poll.

Religious education in schools is important – religious observance simply bludgeons them to believe.

Religious freedom is paramount but cannot extend to recruitment from our state school children.

Neil Barber, Edinburgh Secular Society, Saughtonhall Drive

Gratitude to efforts of charity volunteers

On behalf of Barnardo’s, National Volunteers Week, which begins today, gives me the chance to say a big “thank you” to all Barnardo’s volunteers in Edinburgh who make a staggering contribution to the lives of the most vulnerable local children.

During the week-long campaign, Barnardo’s Retail will be presenting more than 2500 volunteer long-service awards, from one year to a massive 25 years’ service, with one of the awards in Edinburgh.

Volunteers come from all walks of life and make a real contribution to both Barnardo’s and the impact the charity can make, like Marjorie Chisholm who has been volunteering at the Crighton Place store in Edinburgh for almost 27 years.

Their dedication just goes to show the commitment of people in Edinburgh to helping others.

Michelle Collins, Barnardo’s ambassador