YOU may remember when Health Secretary Jeane Freeman did not allow Lothian Health Board to open the new Children’s Hospital in Edinburgh. Oversight of the construction and commissioning of that hospital is, and remains, the responsibility of Lothian Health Board. Now there are reports that Greater Glasgow Health Board were told that the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Glasgow had serious issues prior to its opening. In both cases it has been made into a political football with both Labour and Tories trying to blame the SNP Government for the failings and omissions of the health boards.

In both instances prompt action has been taken by the Cabinet Secretary for Health. One hospital was not allowed to be opened and in the other, Greater Glasgow Health has been put into “special measures” and an inquiry has been launched. Let us be glad that we do have a robust and decisive person in the Scottish Government rather than trying to score cheap political points.

DS Blackwood, Helensburgh.

THE reported happenings at Glasgow's Queen Elizabeth University Hospital ("Water safety warnings in week flagship hospital opened", The Herald, November 29) cannot pass without comment. Considering there was an existing sewage works adjacent, why was this site chosen? Perhaps because of the existing Southern General, albeit that long-serving inaccessible health provision was no longer fit for purpose.

Regardless, the high-rise option was taken, doubtless based on cost and not client interest.

The new par-excellence centre should have nestled in a new accessible environment with ample parking and certainly free of noxious odours.

Allan C Steele, Giffnock.

Banking answer

THE TSB is to close 82 branches UK wide, 17 of which are in Scotland ("TSB slated as 17 closures revealed", The Herald, November 29). Many of the Scottish branches are in small towns that may leave the town without a bank. Is it not time the banks co-operated and perhaps open a "multi-bank" branch in places that are being left without a bank?

Already you are able to carry out limited banking at Post Offices but they too are closing. A bank that has access to all the major banks would be an asset to the population as a whole and might go some way to restoring our faith in the banking industry. They would show alll the offers available in the various banks and may then shake up the industry. Maybe too much to hope for.

Steve Barnet, Gargunnock.

W, Aaargh

IN The Pillow Book of Sei Shonagon (Sei, having been lady-in-waiting to the Empress Consort Teishi in 10th century Japan) we read of the things she likes, adores, is depressed by or even hates. Following on from the several letters of complaint about poor grammar that have appeared in The Herald recently (Letters, November 28 & 29) I would add a thing that appears in my own mental 'Pillow Book'.

In the list of "things detested", is the mispronunciation of the letter W as an R; thus we hear of droring-rooms and lor n'order. Also in that list is the glottal stop. I am quite often advised that languages undergo mutation; but I rather consider it to be mutilation.

Thelma Edwards, Kelso.

Healthy rations

WITH Mark Smith chewin’ the fat over the angst of restaurateurs and home-grown providers of nosh over the various demands of some professed veggie adherents, others with dislikes elevated to intolerances or unconfirmed allergies, or just plain picky eaters, ("Restaurants are rebelling against picky eaters. Good", The Herald, November 290 ), I am grateful for the simple comforting “take it or leave it” domestic culinary delights of the 1940s and character-forming wartime rationing, which made me the man I am today; although my resident domestic goddess has diagnosed certain intolerances unrelated to diet.

R Russell Smith, Kilbirnie.