Readers' letters: NHS service is better in Scottish hands

The reason the NHS is beginning to fall apart (News 26 September), including NHS England run by Tories and by Labour in Wales, is due to increased demand and continued staff shortages and Covid absences.

Some don’t like comparisons with the rest of the UK, but it helps to put things into some perspective, not least as the UK government determines overall health funding after which a proportion is passed on to the Scottish government.

Well over 600 beds in Scottish hospitals are still utilised for Covid patients and discharges are proving more difficult due to increased staff shortages in care settings since leaving the EU. NHS Scotland’s A&E departments see around 300,000 patients in a year and five percent wait more than 12 hours because after triage they have been found to be not at serious risk.

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As an MP, Douglas Ross should know that the reported consistently higher A & E waiting times in England are greatly underestimated as it is measured from the time that a clinical decision to admit is made, while in Scotland it is from the time they checked in at the hospital.

The Scottish Government is recruiting many more nurses than in England and since the SNP came to power there are 25,000 additional NHS staff with more doctors, nurses and beds per head of population than elsewhere and remains the best performing NHS in the UK.

Fraser Grant, Edinburgh.

Cyclists need to mind the tracks

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I read with interest the letter from Jodi Gordon regarding injuries to cyclists on tram tracks (September 26).

A thought came to mind that this country is becoming as litigious as the USA. I am over 80 and have cycled for close on 80 years. Growing up in Edinburgh in the 1940s and 1950s we had an enormous mileage of tram tracks to contend with compared to those in place today.

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I never fell off my bicycle due to tram lines although, on a few occasions, did fall off my bike due to wet or icy cobbles. I would say that, had I fallen off my bike due to these tracks, the response when I arrived home would be as follows. My elder brothers just have laughed at me for being so careless while my mother would have worried if I had torn my clothes or injured myself and my dad would just have said, "You have eyes, did you not see the tram lines?"

At no point would the law have been involved because I think that the legal response should be, "Learn to ride your bike safely or take a Cycle Proficiency Test"

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Colin J Oliver, Broxburn.

Right to roam, not kill livestock

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A woman has been charged by the police with worrying livestock after two dogs killed 80 ducks at Mayne Farm in Elgin Moray on 12 September.

In another incident on 19 September four sheep were killed. No wonder the farmer has banned dog walkers from his land.

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No doubt ignorant dog walkers will loudly claim their "Right to roam". Well, they should be aware that farmers have a "right to shoot" dogs attacking farm livestock.

Clark Cross, Linlithgow.

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Being number one

Leah Gunn Barrett makes a great issue about the minuscule numbers that voted for the new Prime Minister, Liz Truss (23 September).

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Perhaps she could enlighten us by stating the numbers that voted for Scotland’s FM when she assumed her office after the departure of the previous occupant. It should be an easy question to answer – it was less than one.

Alexander McKay, Edinburgh.

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