‘We hope the differences can be resolved’

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it is terribly sad to report the latest troubles besetting the charity which Bob and Jem Wright helped set up in memory of their heroic paratrooper son Mark.

The couple have shown endless courage and dignity since his death in the most tragic of circumstances in Afghanistan in 2006.

Corporal Wright was just 27 years old when he entered a minefield to rescue his comrades, only to be killed when the downdraft from a helicopter triggered a blast.

For his bravery, he was post humously awarded one of Britain’s highest honours, the George Cross.

But a coroner lambasted the Ministry of Defence, saying they “should hang their heads in shame” over the catalogue of serious failures that contributed to Mark’s death.

Through these most trying times, the Wrights refused to be dragged down by bitterness, and stayed focused on ensuring something positive came out of the tragedy.

Their goal was – and remains – providing a retreat for veterans as they struggle to overcome the physical and psychological scars of war.

Thousands of supporters, including many readers of the News, have helped make that vision a reality.

There are now clearly issues which need to be resolved by all those who are working to provide these valued services.

We can only hope that one way or another those differences can be resolved so that the Wrights and their colleagues can continue to honour so fittingly the memory of one of the Capital’s bravest sons.

Delivering quality

with almost 10,000 babies now being born in the Lothians every year, maternity services are facing an ever greater strain – just as NHS Lothian is facing up to significant staff cuts.

Every mother-to-be will be concerned to learn fewer midwives are employed in our local hospitals per birth than anywhere else in Scotland.

And knowing that staffing levels fall just below those recommended by the Royal College of Midwives will do little to reassure them.

But as usual the official statistics only tell part of the story.

The gap between what happens in local hospitals and elsewhere is not as wide as it would seem, because some health boards – unlike NHS Lothian – effectively double count their midwives by including those who carry out largely nursing duties in their headcount.

And many parents with first-hand experience would back health chiefs when they say they have confidence in the quality service of the service they provide.