RECENT events have caused me to question again the imagination and competence of those running the NHS response to Covid-19.
Why have Covid patients been repeatedly admitted to general wards, thus spreading the disease in hospitals and resulting in ward closures and staff illness? Why are not all staff and patients tested at least once a week? Why are visitors still admitted without testing? Why did the Chief Nursing Officer tell Ayrshire and Arran to stop testing inpatients weeks ago – surely incompetence?

Why is the Louisa Jordan Hospital still unoccupied when all Covid patients should be admitted there and isolated? 
Why can Slovakia test 3.5 million people in a weekend and Scotland cannot test more than a few thousand daily? Why does Scotland have such a limited testing capability when test, test and test again is the means to defeat the pandemic, without destroying the economy?
Why are some hospitals not designated and preserved as Covid-free, like the Golden Jubilee, thus allowing elective care to continue? When waiting times for private care stretch into many months, when will elective NHS services ever recover?
Why eight months into the pandemic does the Scottish Government seem unprepared for the inevitable second wave, leaving the NHS in severe crisis again? Is no one in charge?
How does the First Minister get away with the incompetent handling of the pandemic when her actions mirror those of Westminster, which are roundly condemned?
What is going on in this country?
Gavin R Tait, FRCSEd, East Kilbride.

LOOKING at the published statistics for infection and death rates, it would seem that they increased significantly when secondary schools and colleges reopened in September; the restaurants and pubs had been active for almost eight weeks before with no rise in death rates. 
The political judgment to open and keep open these institutions has caused the large increase in the infection rates and subsequent deaths. Crocodile tears from the First Minister are a poor substitute for logical thinking. These extra deaths are on the scientists’ and politicians’ heads. 
Robert Neillands, Largs.

AT the weekend my wife and I passed through Moffat. The main car park was closed and given over to Covid testing with eight people in high-vis jackets waiting to carry out the tests.
Over two or so hours we were in the town we saw no-one attending. Presumably people had to have an appointment to have a test, but would this not have been an ideal opportunity to test anyone who wished to have one done?
Surely widespread testing of the community is one of the answers to beating this dreadful virus?
Bill Brown, Dumfries.

NICOLA Sturgeon complains about lack of money from Westminster, but it’s merely to camouflage her problems here. She should concentrate on Covid-19.
Twice recently I passed through Glasgow Airport coming from Spain, where there is a well-organised, efficient system in place to check travellers. In Glasgow both times: a passport check, no QR code check and no temperature testing. On the second time in isolation I did get a call from Public Health Scotland. There was no check on where I was, no check on my condition, merely a statement on what I should do if I get sick.
Ms Sturgeon’s handling of this crisis is all about the politics.
Bill Adair, Bishopton.

AS a result of the pandemic every member of the public knows that an ICU bed is one equipped with a ventilator and staff capable of providing advanced respiratory support to a critically ill patient. Amazingly it appears that Jane Grant, the CEO of NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde, thinks otherwise.
NHSGGC shut the ICU beds at Inverclyde Royal Hospital (IRH) last month to public outcry. Jane Grant then issued a public briefing and stated that the ICU beds at IRH had not been shut. To any fair-minded member of the public in Greenock and Inverclyde, that would mean that patients can still be ventilated for their care in ICU at Inverclyde. However, that is not the case and currently there are no staffed facilities there for the prolonged ventilation of any ICU patients. All patients deemed to require ventilation have to be transferred to the QEUH in Glasgow. The annual number of patients she proposed for transfer equals the number of yearly admissions to ICU at Inverclyde as reported by the Scottish Intensive Care Society Audit Group.
Health Secretary Jeane Freeman was then fed this misinformation and in reply to local MSP Stuart McMillan said: “NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde has repeated their assurance that they are not closing the two ICU beds at the IRH.” This is inaccurate. Without the capability to provide ventilatory support the two beds in question no longer function as ICU beds and can only be termed High Dependency Unit (HDU) beds. It is wrong for such misinformation to go unchallenged.
Robert Stuart FRCPSG (Gen Surg), Rhu.