Letters to the editor

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Scotland’s NHS time bomb


After projections recently showed the number of pensioners is set to increase by 28 per cent, it is time the SNP started listening to warnings about an ageing population.

The National Records of Scotland has estimated the hike over the next 25 years, which would unfortunately bring with it a rise in conditions including dementia.

Hospitals across the country are already struggling to cope with increasing numbers of patients, particularly those with diseases linked to living longer.
Shadow health secretary Miles Briggs said the NHS was already struggling as a result of the SNP’s failure to plan for an ageing population and he said the problems would only worsen as that demographic increased.

The elderly population has rocketed in the last 10 years north of the border and the growth is even larger in rural constituencies including Argyll and Bute.

By 2039, the number of over 75s will have gone from 430,000 to 800,000. In contrast, the population of under 15-year-olds will rise by only one per cent.

The Scottish Government must act now or the problems for hospital staff and patients are only going to get worse.

There is going to be an increasing elderly population north of the border, who risk being served by an NHS which won’t be remotely equipped to provide the help they need and is being centralised to near breaking point by separatists.

Perhaps if the Scottish government dropped its obsession with both another independence referendum and centralising everything in sight they could concentrate on steering clear of this iceberg.

Councillor Alastair Redman, Islay

Shame council into action


The sorry saga of the childrens’ playpark on the front green in Lochgilphead continues (Argyllshire Advertiser front page, August 4).

Due to the playpark being vandalised again, and some of the play equipment being removed due to safety reasons, surely now is the time to sort this problem out before any new or repaired equipment is installed.

I have written to this paper before suggesting the playpark should be moved next to the police station further along the front green. Using the police station’s wall, an area could easily be fenced off to accommodate a new playpark.

If CCTV was also installed and linked into the police station, this would provide better security for the children from potential predators and deter any vandalism, thus saving the council money.

A further adjacent area of land could be set aside to provide, at a future date, an enclosed all-weather soft play area for children. The metal fencing surrounding the play areas could be softened by a wide flower bed of spikey plants, such as berberis, which would again deter vandalism to the fence.

Regarding the defunct paddling pool, why not convert it into a focal point on the front green? It could easily be made into a water lily pond, enclosed within a wide stone raised flower bed with sloping flower beds around the stone walls, thus acting as a colourful safety barrier.

I am sure local builders and builders supply depots would freely offer the materials and labour needed to complete this project for the benefit of locals and visitors.

Lastly, let’s get The Beechgrove Garden team involved and shame Argyll and Bute Council into action.

Then we can all thank the builders and the like and enjoy a huge street party on the front green.

Name and address supplied

Back to school asthma


The school summer holiday in Scotland has sadly come to an end, and now that children are back in school it is important parents of children with asthma keep an eye out for the early warning signs of an asthma attack.

Children are at a much greater risk of having an asthma attack when they are back at school, partly due to exposure to triggers such as cold and flu viruses. The latest hospital admissions data showed that children in Scotland were 68 per cent more likely to be rushed to hospital following an asthma attack in August than in July.

Every 10 seconds someone has a potentially life-threatening asthma attack in the UK, and three people die from asthma every day, so it is important for parents to spot the signs of an asthma attack early. You should book an urgent appointment with the GP or asthma nurse if your child is using their reliever inhaler (usually blue) more than three times a week; coughing or wheezing at night; feeling out of breath and struggling to keep up with their friends.

Parents who have any concerns about their child’s asthma can speak to expert nurses by calling the Asthma UK Helpline on 0300 222 5800 (Mon-Fri 9am-5pm), and can find more information on how to protect their child this August by visiting the asthma.org.uk website.

Sonia Munde, head of helpline and nurse manager, Asthma UK

Furnace go slow

Last week’s edition of the Argyllshire Advertiser carried the story that the authorities seem keen on making a temporary extended 40mph speed limit through Furnace a permanent fixture.

On the Argyllshire Advertiser Facebook page we asked: Extended 40mph through Furnace to Crarae. Been there a year now. Success or failure?

William McCrae replied:  ‘Failure, and it has got to be the longest 40mph zone in Argyll and Bute.’

‘About as pointless as the 30 limit past the school campus coming out of Lochgilphead – only there to generate revenue,’ was the view of Duncan Black.

Jim Stevenson posted: ‘It works for me. I just wonder why, when I’m doing 40, there is almost always someone who overtakes me.’

Kirsty Riley responded: ‘Failure – painful to stick at 40mph.’

Gordon Stewart replied with another question: ‘Is it an accident black spot?’