Letters: Simple measures can make A&E departments better

Emergency staff are kept very busy. Picture: Tony Marsh

Emergency staff are kept very busy. Picture: Tony Marsh

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YOUR article about 12-hour waits in A&E wards made interesting reading (News, March 5).

My father was admitted to A&E last week. The department was full to bursting, with every square inch filled with patients waiting for beds.

The staff worked tirelessly trying to care for patients waiting up to 12 hours for beds.

They also had to admit the acute admissions in their droves, including my dad who, incidently, received first-class care even though the doctors and nurses were quite clearly overstretched and at breaking point. My heart went out to them.

My dad was taken to a cardiology ward where again he received excellent care, but interestingly he was told on the ward round at 10pm he could be discharged home. He waited a further four hours for his discharge letter and medication.

For these four hours, he just lay on a bed reading a book. I’m sure this is common practice.

After witnessing A&E for myself and reading your article, it would seem that discharge planning needs overhauled.

Surely arrangements could be made for patients to pick up medication or sit in a day room to free up the bed. It beggars belief that elderly patients are queuing up in A&E departments for beds yet my dad was able to wait for four hours on a bed he no longer required.

Surely simple measures to speed up beds being vacated when the patient no longer needs one would help the backlog in A&E.

Vicki Hamilton, Colinton Mains, Edinburgh

Private rail move will line pockets

As a regular traveller with East Coast trains I find it very hard to comprehend that this line will be returned to the private sector when it is returning a profit of over £640 million (News, March 5).

Once again taxpayers lose out whilst the shareholders win. I have no doubt that fares will go up and the “new company” will get big subsidies to help run the trains. Once again the country loses some badly needed income whilst we line some others’ pockets.

Derek Scott, Musselburgh

Council needs a can-do approach

As a daily user of Haymarket station I am well aware of the prolonged disruption that the tram works are causing.

However, there is now ample space at the station forecourt to allow a much-needed taxi rank. Why is it not now operational?

Council officials are there to assist the public, not to inconvenience them. Is it impossible for them to adopt a “can-do” approach?

Colin C Maclean, Hillpark Avenue, Edinburgh

Visitor tax could fund facilities

A FORREST is exactly right (letters, March 4). A modest visitor levy applied by hotels for each tourist “bed night” could help fund some of the facilities and events which visitors enjoy.

This is why the Green councillors proposed just such a measure in the last council term and why we were so disappointed when the present Capital coalition rejected the idea without properly looking into it.

Cllr Gavin Corbett, Green finance spokesperson

Patient requires intensive care

Edinburgh has no need for a spin doctor (News, March 2). I would say, however, that a spin surgeon at twice the salary being offered for a doctor is essential.

With the dreadful scandals of the trams, property “conservation”, the crematorium shame, legionnaires’ disease, various food scandals, parking regulations and planning decisions, it is surely time for some high level amputations rather than yet another ego massage.

The impact of all these extraordinary situations on ordinary folk is disgraceful.

John Addison, Roslin, Midlothian

A long way to go for our country

Although I wouldn’t describe either the Scots or Scotland as racist, the shocking racist attack in the Capital over the weekend might suggest that there is a sinister undercurrent prevalent within Scottish culture.

Such incidents might be few and far between, but if Scotland wants to be seen as a tolerant and peaceful multicultural society there might be a long way to before this can be achieved.

Angus McGregor, Albion Road, Edinburgh

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