Your recent coverage of the circumstances surrounding the death of pensioner John (Ian) Gibson raises a number of important questions.
Firstly, I want to assure your readers, many of whom will have friends, family or neighbours receiving care services at home, that a full investigation is under way and once complete, any recommendations will be acted upon.
I intend to ensure that we can all be confident that services provided to vulnerable people within our communities are as good as they can be and that standards are monitored and any problems quickly identified and dealt with.
While the full facts around the tragic death of Mr Gibson are still to emerge, we may also wish to take a moment to consider what type of home care services we aspire to. Demand for care continues to increase, people are living longer (a good thing) and with more complex medical conditions (not so good) which require more sophisticated and integrated care services within the community.
Services will continue to evolve over the next few years, and providing the best possible experience for our older and more vulnerable citizens has to remain the number one priority.
Cllr Ricky Henderson, Convener of Health, Social Care and Housing, Edinburgh City Council
City’s alcohol stats are encouraging
As a major investor with two significant developments in Edinburgh at the Cowgate (SoCo) and Edinburgh Park, I have followed the debate on alcohol licences in the city with interest.
I was therefore very disappointed with the negative comments (Evening News, September 26) made by Jim Sherval of NHS Lothian in relation to alcohol consumption in the Lothian area. The Scottish Government’s report is the most important and relevant study of alcohol issues in Scotland, and makes very encouraging reading. The number of people drinking to excess in Scotland has fallen by 21 per cent for men, and 17 per cent for women. A remarkable reduction in only a few years. The rate of discharges from hospitals of those with alcohol-related health problems is down, as is the number of people involved in drink-driving offences.
For Edinburgh, there has even been a fall of 20 per cent in the number of offences of drunkenness in the city.
At a time when – according to the report – off sales have increased in recent years by eight per cent, and alcohol bought in off sales is “155 per cent more affordable” than it was in 1987, I do question whether availability of off sales can be demonised in the way it sometimes is.
Edinburgh is a fantastic capital city, and that’s why we want to invest here. It has long boasted the highest proportion of restaurants (and their licences) per head of any European city. The population of the city doubles during the Festival, with most people eating and drinking and having fun without causing harm to themselves or others.
The debate about alcohol licences needs to be based on fact and evidence, and the fact that Scotland and Edinburgh can see these major improvements at a time when alcohol has remained easily available should indicate that it is responsible drinking that should be promoted further, rather than the restriction of new restaurants and shops.
Andy Jansons, Jansons Property, George Street, Edinburgh
Blocking BBC only pleases Murdoch
Mr Salmond is to hold a government review of television and radio in Scotland, with an expressed wish for a Scottish Broadcasting Corporation instead of the BBC, and threatens to do away with BBC4 altogether. This is before the review has even begun.
All the correspondence in the press has been about how to continue to watch the BBC in case of geographical blocking and there has been absolutely no support for a standalone SBC and STV.
After all, it was STV who decided that Scotland should have an Australian series called Underbelly Uncut instead of Downton Abbey. Radio Scotland has endless phone-in and music programmes without opportunity for serious debate or discussion.
Perhaps Mr Salmond foresees the viewer in Scotland will have no alternative to purchasing an expensive Sky TV package to see and listen to the BBC, thus enriching his friend Rupert Murdoch.
It is difficult to think there is no deal between Mr Salmond and Mr Murdoch.
Jenny Gill, Dudley Avenue, Edinburgh