YOUR front-page lead article today ("Half of checked care homes ‘weak’ on infection control", The Herald, February 25), complied diligently with the recent narrative of Public Health Scotland, which is to deflect attention from the unrealistic expectations currently being placed on care home staff throughout the country.

The article correctly points out that a fortnightly report on the outcome of care home checks is currently being presented to the Holyrood Parliament. However, these inspections are very keen to make points that seem to blame care home staff for most weaknesses they inevitably find in busy care home settings.

As a care home worker before and throughout the pandemic, I am qualified to respond to these issues. Since last March I have been expected to carry out duties of a dispensing pharmacist, be a substitute family member to the residents I am responsible for, as well as carrying out enhanced deep cleaning. In this context, for Public Health Scotland to say staff are not ensuring care home residents are "not supported to keep active or pass their time in a meaningful way" is insulting to the professionalism that I and my colleagues carry out on a daily basis.

Care home residents are required to stay at home more than the general population, meaning we as supporting staff are spending more time supporting individuals. We are doing this together with the additional duties. Care home staff are entitled to feel they are being unfairly targeted as scapegoats by these inspections being reported to the parliament. Public Health Scotland should concentrate on constrictive criticism to care home staff and providers at a local level while putting in additional support for care staff, and helping share the responsibility for the additional workload the staff have all carried out diligently throughout the pandemic.

Iain Campbell, Dollar.


I WAS most interested to read the article on Takotsubo Cardiomyopathy (TCM) ("Unlocking secret of a broken heart", The Herald, February 24). In addition to the causes described, TCM is also a recognised but little known complication of intracranial haemorrhage.

A close family member suffered a sub-arachnoid haemorrhage following a ruptured aneurysm complicated by TCM leading to virtual cessation of cardiac output and requiring at least three resuscitations. Thanks to the marvellous work by the team at the Golden Jubilee Hospital her circulation was supported by extra corporeal pumps, which I believe was pioneering treatment at that time. Her heart function improved over a few weeks, allowing the support to be removed and the aneurysm to be repaired with an intravascular coil. Now, nearly 10 years later she leads an active life, even climbing several Munros in a day.

Hopefully, the Aberdeen research may throw some light on the pathogenesis of this disorder and this case history will give hope to those who may be affected.

Professor Ian Griffiths, Balmacara.


AFTER reading Scott Wright's article ("Pub trade slams Tory bid to wreck tenant bill", The Herald, February 25) which detailed the 220 amendments put forward by Tory MSPs (to a bill of only 21 pages), perhaps Ruth Davidson could explain why her party has attempted to derail a bill which would have, amongst other things put in place a code of conduct ensuring fair treatment for pub tenants, many of whom are tied to deals which mean ever-increasing rent and being forced to buy beer at prohibitively expensive prices?

At First Minister's Questions Ms Davidson cries crocodile tears over the many small businesses forced to close by the Covid pandemic, then with breathtaking hypocrisy instructs her minions to put the boot into hardworking pub tenants.

This surely shows that the Tories in Scotland care nothing for small local businesses but, as I have long suspected, dance to the tune of big business. After all, you're not going to get a highly paid directorship or a generous donation to party funds from your local pub.

Billy Gold, Hielan Jessie bar, Glasgow.


SO it's Sir Tom Devine for President, courtesy of Brendan J Foster (Letters, February 24); and this week’s anti-monarchy lobby sparked off by Doug Marr’s proposed changing of the royal guard ("There’s no need for a right royal row … but the time has come for change", The Herald, February 22), has certainly gathered pace.

Tuesday's Letters Page (February 23) saw debate on the Harry and Meghan debacle, with a former Irish President’s star shining brightly above. And rightly so, it appears. The royal family irreplaceable? Your correspondent Sheila Duffy thinks not. The monarchy is grossly imperfect in so many ways. But, warts and all, William and Kate will surely join Mary Robinson’s galaxy, in time. To give up all that tradition? Would we really? For a presidency?

Brian D Henderson, Glasgow.


I WAS intrigued to read that the Venerable Mother Cornelia Connelly was "interned at Mayfield Girls School" in West Sussex ("Anger over plan to remove body parts of revered nun", The Herald, February 25). I had no idea the school was ever an internment camp. What did she do to deserve this?

Carol Primrose, Bishopbriggs.


DEAR Lord, how low can the BBC sink? Gordon Ramsay on three nights a week for however long, an inane game show on prime-time. It's really scraped the bottom of an apparently deep barrel of ever-decreasing low-quality output. I reluctantly pay my TV Licence fee, rising to £159 in April – I am required to pay this. With other platforms, however I have a choice.

Steve Barnet, Gargunnock.

Read more: Harry should renounce his right to the crown