Letters: NHS efforts to meet cash challenge in rude health

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I am writing in response to your article "Worrying prognosis for NHS as fewer staff quit their jobs" (News, January 12).

Far from being worrying, the reduction in staff turnover in recent years demonstrates that our staff recognise NHS Lothian as an organisation of quality and a good place to work. Retaining staff in post for longer periods also has benefits for patient care.

When we announced our plans to reduce the workforce by 2000 over two years we committed to doing this without compromising quality.

We predicted that the economic downturn would have an impact on staff turnover and our planning took account of this.

So far this year we have reduced our workforce by more than 920 through natural wastage and service redesign. The majority (around 70 per cent) of these posts have been administrative or management grade positions.

Overall since 2007 we have reduced the number of senior managers at NHS Lothian by 26 per cent.

Our focus is on continuing to improve the quality of service we provide while making our organisation more efficient.

Alan M Boyter, director of human resources and organisational development, NHS Lothian

En route to better state of repair?

I WAS pleased to see on Friday that something is finally being done to address the appalling state of Burdiehouse Road.

Over the last month this has become a virtual assault course for drivers, who are forced to swerve left and right in an effort to avoid the yawning craters that have appeared.

While the council can hardly be blamed for the weather that has brought about these conditions, it can be blamed for the third-rate efforts made to patch this stretch of road after last year's weather.

Had the repair work to fill in potholes been up to standard the first time around, they would not have reappeared and the authorities would not be facing another big bill for carrying out the same work again a mere 12 months later.

Given that this is a major route in and out of the city and the predictions that more harsh winters are on their way we must hope that this time they make a better job of things.

R Duke, Dalry Road, Edinburgh

'Evidence' not as clear as claimed

In reply to Robert Dow's letter (December 30), he says a "simple internet search" reveals a slew of "evidence" for his claims against man-made climate change. Therein lies the problem; such searches can find "scientific evidence" for just about any outlandish theory you care to think of. Some "scientists" no doubt claim the world is flat.

It is the credibility of where the information and research is coming from that is absolutely paramount. This where such claims as "thousands of dissenting scientists" crumble. This oil money-backed petition is often rolled out as some sort of evidence. Yet the US National Academy of Science stated it was a "deliberate attempt to mislead scientists", and that it was "not based on a review of the science of global climate change, nor were its signers experts in the field of climate science".

The fossil-fuel industry spends vast amounts per year on PR/influencing the public, which includes the websites, newspaper articles and TV programmes that Mr Dow refers to.

The peer-reviewed research (still the most reliable methodology, like it or not) leads to the conclusion that we are affecting our climate.

Listing a few examples of what is not happening as Mr Dow does, has no effect on this conclusion, serving merely to muddy the waters.

Mick Geggus, Dundas Street, Edinburgh

We all have a crossing to bear

Fife MSP John Park wants a public consultation on the naming of the 2.3 billion crossing to replace the Forth Road Bridge.

How about "A bridge too far"?

Clark Cross, Springfield Road, Linlithgow

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