Letters to the editor – April 24, 2020

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Let’s get ‘scrubbing’ for Mid Argyll NHS

Sir,

A few weeks ago I launched an appeal on social media aimed at supporting nurses and medics at the Mid Argyll Hospital during this terrible COVID-19 pandemic.

I was initially trying to find out if there was anyone locally who might be interested in dusting down their sewing machine to make a few sets of protective ‘scrubs’ to donate to the hospital. Within a couple of days the response was staggering.

There were volunteers from all corners of Mid Argyll willing to sew, donate material and give freely of their time. Local businesses were also quick to respond with offers of material, pattern printing and transport for moving stock around.

I am overwhelmed by the support and generosity of people in Mid Argyll. They have risen to the challenge and far exceeded my expectations.

We have around 90 stitchers from Cairndow to Ardfern, and villages and towns in between, producing brightly coloured ‘scrubs’ using mainly donated fabric, scrap material and jazzy duvet covers. The first donation of ‘scrubs’ is expected to be handed over to the hospital this week and we are sure they will brighten up the wards.

Our crowdfunding page, ‘Let’s Get Scrubbing for Mid Argyll’, was originally set up to buy everything to make the scrubs. It has broken the original £500 target and we would love to hit the £1,000 mark so please feel free to donate.

I am overwhelmed and humbled by this experience and publicly thank the group team leaders, the volunteer stitchers, those working behind the scenes and the wider community for their support and generosity.

My thanks is also extended to the following businesses who have helped in so many ways: MacLeod Construction, Kit-You-Out, Mary’s Meals, Top Designer, West Coast Motors, LG Upholstery, Clock Tower, Tarbert COS Thrift Shop, Premier Laundry, Ian Y McIntyre, Willie Leitch Sailmaker, Owen Sails and the Lithgow Family at Ormsary Estate.

Nikki Thompson, Ardrishaig.

Tarbert kindness

Sir,

The time will come when we are through the turmoil of this pandemic but as we work our way through it, I wanted to share a situation that reflects the actions of many.

I was recently collecting shopping in Tarbert for registered vulnerable people and, as I was taking off my gloves before getting into the car, I was aware of another’s presence close by pushing a mobile rubbish bin. It was Damon. He saw me about to put my gloves into the rubbish bag in my own car and said cheerily ‘You can pop them into this bin here, if you like’.

I was so taken by that gesture. What an example of initiative, thoughtfulness and kindness. It summed up the incredible work of so many volunteers, co-ordinated by Team Tarbert’s Fiona, with Margaret co-ordinating prescriptions, and many others.

Perhaps there is no better time for us all to reaquaint ourselves with Rudyard Kipling’s poem ‘If’.

It seems to perfectly summarise humanity working at its best, in which, during this crisis, thanks to so many, Tarbert can walk tall. Stay safe.

Peter Minshall, Tarbert.

Hiding behind ‘national guidance’

Sir,

I write regarding the Argyllshire Advertiser edition dated Friday April 10 and the front page heading ‘Hospital prepares for Pandemic’.

The article states: ‘No figures have been released about the incidence of coronavirus in Argyll and Bute’ because the HSCP spokesperson said ‘we are following national guidance and due to reasons of patient confidentiality we will not be able to make public where in the Highland health board areas the positive cases are’.

This statement is complete nonsense and shows either the HSCP in Argyll has not been privy to this information or they are just using the term ‘national guidance’ as a smokescreen and an excuse and/or sheer incompetence.

No-one was asking them for patients’ names and addresses, merely figures of those affected in a given area.

The people appointed to positions of responsibility in Argyll and Bute HSCP are hopeless when it comes to joined-up thinking and accountability.

All they will do is spin you a line and quote stuff like ‘national guidelines’, which is code for ‘I don’t have a clue’.

Karl Edwards, Lochgilphead

Priority service expanded

Sir,

Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) is extending the support it provides to those most vulnerable by expanding the eligibility of its Priority Services Register (PSR) to include customers at increased risk of severe illness during the coronavirus pandemic.

Nearly 750,000 customers already receive additional care and support through SSEN’s PSR – a free, tailored service.

In addition to those self-isolating or shielding for 12 weeks, customers are eligible if they:

  • Are deaf or hard of hearing
  • Have a disability
  • Live with children under five
  • Are blind or partially sighted
  • Have a chronic illness
  • Use medical equipment/aids reliant on electricity
  • Are over 60

Julie Walker, SSEN.