WHY, when ageing is something we cannot avoid, does it appear to have come as a surprise that the “baby boomers” are now placing increasing demands on the NHS and social services? (“Sack Robison for broken promise, Sturgeon urged”, The Herald, June 8).

Why, decades after the creation of the NHS and the “welfare state”, do we not train locally sufficient professionals to staff the service but rely on the education systems and training pathways of foreign countries to supply us with doctors and nurses?

Why when the health and wellbeing of the citizens of the country must be the prime raison d’etre for government is funding for health and welfare deliberately restricted? Yet we have a foreign aid budget that helps the Chinese film industry.

Why is the health of the nation increasingly being treated as a source of revenue for the private sector when there is no reason why these services couldn’t be supplied “in house” if adequate funding was available?

Why does the NHS rely on agency staff and “waiting-list initiatives” when adequate staffing levels would render this unnecessary? A proper staffing level would contain flexibility to cover absence through illness or continuing education commitments?

Why is it obvious that UK-wide the NHS is being manipulated towards the US pay-as-you go model?

Why do we allow the NHS to be used as a political football as illustrated by the hounding of Shona Robison over her ridiculously impossible promise to eradicate bed-blocking in the NHS in a year? Just what exactly have her attackers done over the last year to assist her? Absolutely nothing. What have their parties done at UK level to help? Absolutely nothing. What have they done to change the asinine annual budget constrictions that hamstring NHS planning? Absolutely nothing.

The problems with bed-blocking, an underfunded NHS and a degradation of social services are all calculated deliberate actions by a system that knows it personally will not suffer the consequences of its actions. I doubt for example that Boris Johnson would wait months on a NHS waiting list for treatment or to check if his prostate was as problematic as his brain appears to me to be.

We as a nation are ill-served by the pantomime we were treated to yesterday at Holyrood.

David J Crawford,

85 Whittingehame Court, 1300 Great Western Road, Glasgow.

YOUR editorial (“First Minister and Greens under pressure over health”, The Herald, June 8), was baffling. In the last month alone I have made public statements on the need for a further roll-out of free personal care, accused ministers of letting down children with mental health issues, warned that banning smoothies won’t stop young people buying junk food, challenged Shona Robison to use devolved powers to make a breast cancer treatment drug available on the NHS, and I published a major report showing how Greens are helping boost the incomes of pregnant women by over £9 million a year.

You suggest that we have been silent on the problems in the NHS, but anyone paying attention would not share this blinkered view. It’s quite a stretch to suggest that our track record of winning important budget concessions from the SNP would stop us from bringing the same constructive challenge to bear in the health portfolio. This attitude is particularly bizarre given you have previously reported accurately our warning that we cannot negotiate over the next budget if ministers refuse to tackle local tax reform.

If the challenges facing Scotland’s NHS could be solved merely by changing the Cabinet Secretary, then the Greens would be open to a vote of no confidence. We certainly supported one in 2014 following Alex Neil’s inappropriate intervention at Monklands hospital.

No government portfolio is as demanding, and the pressures facing those working in the NHS have never been greater. Richard Leonard is right to point out the failure to eradicate bed blocking. The integration of health and social care isn’t happening with the speed required. Culture change within organisations the size of our local authorities and health service doesn’t happen quickly. Lack of care packages and lack of accessible, adapted homes to return to, post hospital, prevent people from doing so. While some are stuck in the tired old Westminster way of politics – that of trying to “claim a scalp” – what actually matters to those working in the NHS and all of us served by it is performance, not personalities. Greens will continue to bring constructive pressure to bear.

Alison Johnstone MSP,

Health spokesperson for the Scottish Greens, The Scottish Parliament, Edinburgh.

I WAS concerned to read about Glasgow City Council’s plan to effectively cut sleepover assistance for disabled adults (“Disabled adults set to lose sleepover care assistance”, The Herald, June 7). Fundamentally the proposed scheme is appalling. Frankly, to suggest that people can be replaced by technology as a way of caring for the disabled is unacceptable. After all one of the most important part about the current sleepover care is the very fact that people are involved in delivering the current service which is vitally important for the mental health of those receiving such a service.

That such changes are taking place in Care Provision across Scotland both for the disabled and the elderly should not come as a surprise as councils are keen to cut the health care budget. In my own area, South Lanarkshire, cuts in care have been on the cards for some time. As far back as April 2012 I was at a meeting at Auchlocan House near Lesmahagow where it was clearly stated that there was a plan to cut all community hospitals in Clydesdale; much of this plan has been executed. Only two small community hospitals in Biggar and Douglas are left. In place of the community hospitals a system of care at home has been extended across Clydesdale. Unfortunately this cannot cope with the problems that face older people, especially those whose illnesses preclude going back home.

Council care homes too are in the spotlight just now, not only in North Lanarkshire where a policy of closure has been implemented, but also in South Lanarkshire, where a similar plan is being considered. The net effect of such plans is to thrust the care of the elderly back into the home or into private care homes. Surely as a caring society we can do better and invest more money in social care and show some respect for our fellow citizens.

Ed Archer,

18 Hope Street, Lanark.