Readers' letters: Yousaf comes late to recruitment bid

Where Art I? Edinburgh Sketcher, October 10, 2022Where Art I? Edinburgh Sketcher, October 10, 2022
Where Art I? Edinburgh Sketcher, October 10, 2022
The Scottish Health Secretary, Humza Yousaf, has suggested his plans to recruit a further 1000 staff overseas for winter would solve his pressing problems as the NHS continues to flounder under his command and winter, it seems, is already upon us.

NHS experts say this is nonsense because of the many months training time involved.

Perhaps if he had thought of this plan six months ago and anticipated the shortages we would be in a better place. There appears to have been many warning signals and it is something you would expect a half-competent minister to do.

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It will be hard for Mr Yousaf to have his standard get-out. ‘’It was that big boy (the UK government) did it and ran away’’ can only be used once effectively.

As the sign on US President Harry Truman’s desk said: ‘’the buck stops here.’’ If only the hapless Mr Yousaf would take that to heart. Scotland has always had total control of the NHS north of the Border. We are all sick and tired of lamer than lame excuses.

Alexander McKay, Edinburgh.

Truss outburst is her Ratner moment

In an inexplicable act of self-destruction, Liz Truss targets every opposition party, every opposing voter, every media outlet (apart from certain tabloid newspapers obviously) and even a fair section of her own parliamentary party as the anti-growth coalition.

Clearly she is unaware that all political parties want to grow the economy, but all would do it in a more planned, compassionate and much less ham-fisted way.This, I feel, will be her Gerald Ratner moment and something she will be identified with for the rest of her soon-to-be imploding career.

D Mitchell, Edinburgh.

Employers can help to tackle suicide

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With World Mental Health Day next week (October 20), suicide prevention charity R;pple is calling on UK employers to do more to prioritise mental health and suicide as part of their health and safety policies.

R;pple research shows the clear disparity between the effect that work can have on mental wellbeing vs a troubling lack of suicide prevention policy and current mental health policy that is merely there to tick a box.

The latest findings from R;pple show a staggering 1 in 4 employees in the UK have experienced suicidal thoughts at work. Of those polled in Aberdeen, just 28 per cent would be comfortable talking to their line manger about possible struggles with mental health.

R;pple is therefore calling on businesses to become more accountable and put as much energy into suicide prevention as they do their fire escapes.

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While fire drills and marshals are common practice for workplaces, and Fire Action signs having been a legal requirement since 2007, the UK, unlike many other countries, does not monitor, investigate, regulate or legally recognise work-related suicides – with a person 62 times more likely to die from suicide (1 in 88) than in a fire (1 in 5447).

With 75.5 per cent of 16–64-year-olds employed in the UK as of August, and an ongoing cost of living crisis affecting us all, the simple fact is employers must do more to protect the mental wellbeing and safety of their staff.

It would of course be wrong to lay the sole responsibility of mental health and suicide at the door of each workplace, but with the average full-time working week comprising 35+ hours, it is reasonable to expect employers to take action to prevent potentially fatal outcomes for its staff.

Suicide is preventable; employers must do more to ensure that it is.

Alice Hendy, Founder, R;pple

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