NHS is a local asset worth paying for

Graham Leicester )Opinion, 22 June) suggests that "listening, it turns out, costs nothing" . But while listening can indeed be cost-effective, not least in the area of healthcare, it still requires the time of skilled professional staff across the many disciplines that make up the NHS and local authority caring services; and these people still need to be paid for listening as well as being valued for their other interventions.

It is reassuring that even David Laws recognised that time pressure such as in GP consultations was an issue in the Liberals' revisionist Orange Book.

But there is a risk that babies get thrown out with the bathwater in a rush to cut fiscal deficits.

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Fifers also do not need to go to Sarah Palin's old State of Alaska to find a healthcare "method" that pays attention to relationships as well as medicine. Across the Tay in Dundee caring professions do work together, but that needs resources, not just snake-oil.

In rural parts of Tayside there is "below the political radar" evidence of "asset-based community development" but that requires a fiscal input.

When one elderly audience member "had a turn" during the Ruthven Parish Festival the other week she was quickly evacuated, treated and discharged by NHS staff who were there for the music – even before the rest of us had made it to the tent for the strawberries and cream.

I just hope a cash-strapped Kirk and State recognise the value of keeping such "community assets" resourced.


Glamis Terrace


Your report (22 June) about the toll of superbugs and NHS errors is truly upsetting, even though it shows that the total number of unexpected deaths is falling.

But the fact that so any of these deaths still occur is not that surprising, given the combination of lack of hygiene discipline in so many hospitals, and the increasingly overstretched system.

Last week a healthy, fit friend of mine went to hospital to help someone who needed stitches, and ended up with a horrific vomiting bug. I know doctors and nurses who can't wait to leave their professions because morale is so low. It's depressing.


Ferry Road


Margaret Watt (the patient's view, 22 June) is absolutely right to argue that patients are entitled to know what lies behind the mortality statistics.

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While it is completely understandable that those in the medical profession don't want to name and shame their colleagues, a bit of honesty goes a long, long way when it comes to establishing trust.


Iona Street


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