Readers' letters: Care home closure plan is shameful

" Councillors should reject this cruel plan and provide proper care for our city's seniors”

Wednesday, 30th June 2021, 7:00 am
Members of Unite the union and campaign group Another Edinburgh is Possible demonstrate outside Ferrylee care home as Unite's Brian Robertson (seated) presents their case to the board
Members of Unite the union and campaign group Another Edinburgh is Possible demonstrate outside Ferrylee care home as Unite's Brian Robertson (seated) presents their case to the board

Care home closure plan is shameful

Plans to close five Edinburgh care homes are a disgusting and shameful way to treat our elderly.

These homes, at Fords Road in Gorgie, Clovenstone, Jewel House in Bingham, Ferrylee in Leith and Drumbrae, were carefully designed as small, community based, residential and day care centres to provide high standards of care, mainly in single rooms.

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They were set in a garden with day care provided for locals who were often friends of residents. Some, like Ferrylee, were replacements for the 400-bed former Greenlea poor house.

The Jewel home was part of the Bingham building regeneration project sited near the new health centre in cooperation with Edinburgh city council.

The pathetic excuse that the buildings are not fit is absurd nonsense. Buildings can be changed or modernised if necessary. I suspect the real reason for these closures is a property development opportunity, as happened at the Peffer Mill home, now closed with residents scattered to the winds and Lego-like block of flats in its place.

Our old folk should not be left to the mercy of private companies, treated like commodities in factory facilities run by people better known for operating Las Vegas casinos.

In closing Greenlea I said, “I hope we never see its like again”. Perhaps I spoke too soon.

Councillors especially Labour councillors, should reject this cruel plan and instead provide proper care for our city's seniors with the dignity and respect they well deserve.

Paul Nolan, ex-chair, Lothian Social Work Committee 1986-92

Exaggerating health figures must stop

I read with indignation that the Scottish government have colluded with Public Health Scotland to exaggerate the Track and Trace scheme in Scotland for Nicola Sturgeon to dodge questions if asked by journalists.

I am horrified that an establishment such as Public Health Scotland are prepared to change figures to help the Scottish National Party to make false statements on the state of the health of the whole nation, and there is therefore no credibility left for the PHS if they are prepared to change figures to help a political party just to look good.

This cannot continue and a full investigation should be held into Public Health Scotland.

It appears that Mr Willie Rennie of the Scottish Liberal Democrats received this information through a Freedom of Information act. I am sure that the whole country is glad that he did, to uncover falsehoods.

They called it a 'mistake' and came to light during a 'data quality assurance exercise'. That is not what I and many others would not call it.

This information was known to the First Minister and she chose to accept the errors. This is surely behaviour unbecoming of a minister of state.

Valerie Stewart, East Kilbride.

More than one voice on assisted dying

A new assisted dying bill brought forward by Liberal Democrat MSP Liam McArthur, is, as usual, being opposed by religious lobbies.

Their arguments must be heard but it’s hard to shake the feeling that their position is underpinned by a religious belief that only their god can give and take life.

While this is entirely legitimate for fellow believers, they do not have a monopoly on morality and religious views should be considered only in proportion to their minority representation.

Neil Barber, Edinburgh Secular Society, Saughtonhall Drive.