Letters to the editor – August 30, 2019

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Name the GP practice


Lochgilphead Medical Centre and Furnace and Inveraray Surgery are delighted to announce a competition for Lochgilphead High School Pupils to design a new name and logo for our services which has been launched in the High School this week.

Our name and logo will be changing, but the care we deliver and how we deliver it will not be changing under our current plans.

In 2014 the GPs in Lochgilphead took over the surgeries in Inveraray and Furnace. The two practices are run separately but with many shared resources. We don’t think the time is right to merge the practices completely but we do want a new logo and a name that recognises that we work very closely together.

The winning entry will receive a cash prize and will then become the public image of our practices for the foreseeable future. In addition, in recognition of their support and contribution to our community, we are also making a donation to the Lochgilphead High School art and design department.

We thank all of our patients for working with us over the past few years as changes have been made which require adjustment on all sides. Your understanding and patience is very much appreciated as we seek to find the safest way to deliver the most effective and high quality health care for us all.

We look forward to seeing the talent of our local young people when competition entries close on October 4 and celebrating that talent when we announce our winner on October 29.

Dr Andrew Strain, Lochgilphead Medical Centre and Furnace and Inveraray Surgery

Government and crumble


My favourite activity at this time of the year is picking brambles. Now I am not saying this is the simplest or even healthiest of activities. All this crouching, hand staining, pricked fingers and even eye strain.

Often when you reach for a large black juicy berry it seems to disappear. It’s like the behaviour of politicians. They offer so much but when you reach for it – it disappears. Do you remember the Scottish government passed a law guaranteeing one would be seen by an appropriate health specialist within a stated limited time? The SNP government daily breaks this law – be it on cancer, accident and emergencies, or mental health.

Or what about the promises made to the people of Arran and the Outer Hebrides on improved ferry services. The Scottish government is responsible for Caledonian Maritime Assets, CMal, which own and manage ferries. MV Glen Sannox was intended to commence service to Arran in 2018 but lies incomplete for all to see in the Ferguson Marine yard in Port Glasgow. Part of the delay is because of disagreement over the fixed-price design and build contract for the two vessels.

The SNP seems obsessed with this type of contract which has adversely affected schools, colleges and community centres. Worse still, while the SNP ridiculed previous government public private partnerships they have introduced a system clearly no better. What about the £1.2 million each month we the taxpayers have to pay for the unopened Edinburgh sick children’s hospital? Jeanne Freeman, the SNP Cabinet Secretary for Health and Social Care, stepped in so late that she does not know whether this much-needed hospital will ever open.

The second part of the bramble experience is the delicious mouthwatering bramble crumble. A crumble which gives joy and stimulation. Not like the crumbling state of the SNP government which has a sour taste and clearly disappoints.

Finlay Craig, Cove

Food enjoyment for kidney patients


Your readers may be interested to know that there are currently 451 people in need of a kidney transplant in Scotland whose diet will be restricted due to kidney disease.

It is likely that they will be on fluid restrictions of around just 500ml of liquid a day – including liquid found in foods like sauces and ice cream. That is roughly the equivalent of only being able to have a small cup of tea and one can of soft drink per day. In addition, they may have to limit the potassium and phosphate in their diet which means missing out on enjoying foods like chocolate, bananas and tomatoes.

We want to make the kidney diet about all the things patients can eat and bring enjoyment back into food – which is why we have launched the Kidney Kitchen.

We hope that the Kidney Kitchen will mean everyone living with kidney disease in Scotland can enjoy healthy and delicious food with their family and friends.

If you are, or if you know a kidney patient, check out www.kidneykitchen.org

Ewen Maclean, advocacy officer Scotland, Kidney Care UK

Dealing with a pet’s loss


The death of a pet cat can come as a shock, and many owners can find it difficult to come to terms with their loss.

The death of a pet is not always seen as a significant loss, leading some people to hide their feelings which can cause them to feel very alone.

On Grief Awareness Day, August 30, Cats Protection is highlighting its free and confidential Paws to Listen support service, so people facing the loss of a cat do not have to feel alone.

The service is available on 0800 024 9494. Alternatively email pawstolisten@cats.org.uk. For more information, please visit www.cats.org.uk/grief

Catherine Joyce, Paws to Listen team leader, Cats Protection