MY wife has problems regarding the health of her mother, a lady of almost 91 years.

Yesterday she went to her mother’s health centre to request a face-to-face appointment for her mother, as getting through on the phone is near impossible.

Not surprisingly, she was told that such an appointment was not possible and that a phone contact would be made, which means that she would need to be present when her mother gets the call.

My wife then asked to see the Practice Manager to discuss this, only to be told, “Sorry, she is not in today”.

She gets home and then receives a phone call from the nurse to say that her mother needs a urinary and blood test, and could she pick up the test bottle from the surgery?

She leaves to pick up the test and is told at the surgery that the kit is not being handed over as her mother is now being seen at the surgery on Wednesday afternoon for assessment. A wasted journey to the surgery and now she is having to change plans for the Wednesday appointment as her mother cannot go to the surgery unaccompanied.

Another case of the left hand not knowing what the right hand is doing.

My wife is at the end of her tether and cannot get help and is constantly having to change arrangements to accommodate the whims of the surgery.

This is another example of elderly patients being abandoned because they do not have access to smartphone or wi-fi and don’t have the ability to use such technology at the age of 90. I fear for all who are experiencing similar circumstances with the NHS.

Allan Halliday, Paisley.


I AM aware that Jane Lax (letters, August 6) never misses an opportunity to vent her antagonism towards, the SNP and Nicola Sturgeon, but in her letter concerning cataract surgery it is obvious that she is misrepresenting the use of the Golden Jubilee Hospital in Clydebank for this.

Having myself had this treatment there, I can vouch for the efficiency of this system. The waiting time between my assessment appointment and the treatment date was fairly reasonable, with the time-lapse between having the first eye done and the second was only that required by recovery of the first.

On each occasion, I was seen promptly on arrival, pre-meds were dealt with swiftly and efficiently, and actual surgery was completed without any discomfort in about ten minutes, with about another 15 minutes for a cup of tea and aftercare instructions. The care overall was superb.

Anent the travelling, I was fortunate enough to have someone to drive me there, but an elderly neighbour who had no transport was easily accommodated by having that arranged for her by the hospital, whereby she was taken there and returned home by patient transport, which regularly travels between hospitals for just such a purpose.

All that is required is to ask for transport. So Ms Lax’s criticism on this aspect is simply uniformed assumption.

It is now several years since the SNP government brought that hospital into the Scottish NHS, specifically to deal with the backlog and lengthy waiting times for certain treatments, of which cataract surgery is one.

To ensure that this added resource offered the potential of faster treatment, a team of nine or ten specialist doctors was appointed, dedicated to this treatment alone.

Without this, waiting times would have been much longer, since folk living longer inevitably means increasing numbers needing this treatment

It appears, however, that Ms Lax cannot bring herself to credit the SNP government with anything useful or successful, but must always find some way to criticise.

P. Davidson, Falkirk.


THE predictable “knee-jerk” response to the latest alcohol deaths statistics is “make them pay more for it”.

It’s exactly the same philosophy for drug-related deaths: make it illegal, drive it underground.

The penny doesn’t seem to have dropped that the major common factor in most of the fatalities in both studies is poverty.

Those who make the decisions and decide policy, those well-meaning holy-wullies who have assumed the power to decide what we are allowed to do with our own bodies, have no practical experience of the factors that this section of society has been condemned to tolerate, where the only escape-hatch from reality some people have is through alcohol and drugs.

Dr Yavin Shaham conducted an experiment that conclusively proved that given the alternative of freely available narcotics or a fruitful social existence, then laboratory rats overwhelmingly avoided the heroin.

If it works for rats, maybe it’s worth giving it a try with humans.

David J Crawford, Glasgow.


I DON’T doubt Sir Walter Scott’s greatness, but I wonder if his knowledge of the complexities of the political background, attributed to him by Derrick McClure (letters, August 3), is what caused him to invent the myth that the MacDonalds refused to fight at Culloden.

He claimed that the last words of the chief of the MacDonells of Keppoch were “My God, have the clan of my own name deserted me?”

In so doing, he substituted the word “mi” for “ni” in Keppoch’s Gaelic question.

Thus, as he lay dying when the battlefield was cleared, what he said to one of his family who had returned to check on him, was, “My God, have the clan of my own name not left?”

In nearly 300 years nobody has thought to ask why Keppoch said “the clan of my own name” rather than just “my clan,” given that he only had moments to live.

The answer is simple.

He brought two clan names to the battle, one being his own MacDonells and the other being his bodyguard of Campbells, my own kinsmen.

George F Campbell, Glasgow.


YOUR television schedules for yesterday showed for 8.00 on BBC 2 – “How to sleep well with Michael Mosley”.

I don’t think I’d like to go to sleep with him, thank you!

Steve Barnet, Gargunnock.