IN your front-page article ("NHS 'must axe routine ops for two months to beat crisis'", The Herald, April 12) various suggestions were outlined as to how to free up beds for emergency admissions, but these were mainly to the disadvantage of patients who are already waiting extensive periods for elective surgery of various types. The comment by Dr David Chung, vice-president of the Royal College of Emergency Medicine, was spot on when he said that "more staff, an appropriate number of beds, and greater social provision was the real solution".

This of course would tackle the problem of bed-blocking around which all of these problems revolve. Patients who fall into this category should be moved out of wards into rehabilitation wards or annexe situations when they no longer require close medical supervision and before discharge to home or long-term care facilities.

Unfortunately, health boards up and down the country closed those annexe and recuperation facilities and many of these sites were sold off to building concerns for many millions of pounds to become the housing estates that many of the current patients now come from.

For a long time the NHS has pursued a "once-size-fits-all" policy in terms of patient care, but we are human beings and don't all take the same length of time to recover after surgical procedures no matter how advanced the medical practice is, and this must be taken into account in the overall health provision in the country.

Allan Halliday,

197 Renfrew Road, Paisley.

WELL done to The Herald for the recent series celebrating the NHS in Scotland (70 Years of NHS Scotland, April 2-7).

It takes courage to run against the negative snash, tons of it, dished out regularly against the NHS and local authorities. It becomes easy to believe it all.

Then, when your blood goes wonky and you slip on the ice and fracture your pelvis, you get something entirely different. What you get is a working, close-up and personal relationship with the NHS and the local authority that is hell-bent on mending you.

A skilful, efficient, reliable, generous, effective, joined up service is what I got - at every level from ambulance crews to consultants.

Try Rutherglen Health Centre for size. Try Ward 46 (Queen Elizabeth Hospital). Try Clinic P (New Victoria Hospital). Try Ward 3A (Gartnavel General).Try South Lanarkshire Social Work Resources. Joined up. World beating. Humble. Poorly paid. Under-resourced. Still magical.

When you get your next complaint my hope is that readers might remember this letter.

Ann Archer,

18 Stuart Avenue, Rutherglen.

IF the suggestion of Dr Hamish Maclaren made to the Society of Acute Medicine and the Royal College of Emergency Medicine in Friday's Herald is followed, then the merged organisation would certainly have a powerful voice if it became the Society and College Royal for Emergency and Acute Medicine, or SCREAM.

David L Smith,

4 Abercorn Road,

Newton Mearns.