Letters to the editor – March 12, 2021

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Vaccination thanks and admiration


May I, through your letters page, please express my gratitude and admiration – shared I suspect by many – for the splendid way the Mid Argyll Medical Centre has handled the vaccination programme?

It very clearly has been meticulously planned, from the initial telephone invitation to attend to the final usher in the one way system to the exit; very well organised on the day with timings, paperwork, physical spacing and aides to help everyone to the right place. The vaccination process carried out with great economy and efficiency – and entirely painlessly so that we really will have to stop calling it ‘the jag’.

The real bonus was the warmth and good humour from everyone involved that made the whole process welcoming, so that you left with a smile on your face. Only after the event do you realise what a tremendous team effort it was from everyone involved and all of them deserve our thanks.

I hope very much that the Mid Argyll area makes a near 100 per cent response to the vaccination invitation, because that is what this effort deserves and will demonstrate to those involved the very real, genuine appreciation we have for their work during the pandemic.

Norman Rea, Kintallen, Tayvallich

Not a cheep from ‘hypocritical’ Tories


The rank hypocrisy of the Scottish Tories knows no bounds.

While they are frothing at the mouth that the first minister should resign over allegedly misleading the Scottish Parliament, at the same time Prime Minister Johnson was proven to have deliberately misled the Westminster parliament.

Standing up in the House of Commons, Mr Johnson stated that all Covid-related contracts were ‘on the record’.

This was three days after the High Court ruled the government had acted unlawfully by failing to publish hundreds of such contracts, which somehow seemed to find their way to those with Tory party connections.

Two weeks prior to this, the Health Minister Matt Hancock was found guilty of illegal activity by the High Court, refusing to resign or even apologise when the extent of illegal awarding of PPE contracts was revealed.

Last year Tory Home Secretary Priti Patel was found guilty of breaching the ministerial code by being a bully and shouting and swearing at civil servant employees in the Home Office, recently reaching a £340,000 settlement with the former Home Office Permanent Secretary.

Compare and contrast that with north of the border, where the Tory party has demanded the resignation of the first minister even before the outcome of the enquiries into the handling of the Alex Salmond case by the Scottish Government has been published.

Not a cheep from them demanding an apology, let alone a resignation, for the flagrant abuses by their Westminster colleagues. What hypocrites.

Alex Orr, Edinburgh

Celebrating every mother


This Mother’s Day, school feeding charity Mary’s Meals would like to pay tribute to incredible women around the world.

From the mums in the UK whose food has nourished us throughout our childhoods, including those who volunteer and fundraise for Mary’s Meals, to the women who cook and serve our daily meals for children in some of the world’s poorest countries, we celebrate them all.

Mary’s Meals feeds more than 1.6 million hungry children in 19 countries every school day.

That’s why I am asking your readers to send a Mary’s Meals gift card to the special women in their lives this Mother’s Day. For just £15.90, it will feed a hungry child every day for an entire school year.

And because the childhood meals our mothers made often stay with us, reminding us of being nurtured and loved, we have included a favourite childhood recipe from TV presenter Lorraine Kelly with each gift card.

Please visit marysmeals.org.uk/mothersday to purchase your gift card or digital gift.

I know I’d love it if my three lovely children gave me this special present for Mother’s Day.

Gillian McMahon, director of supporter engagement and income, Mary’s Meals

A progressive stroke service


Launching its manifesto ahead of the Scottish elections, the Stroke Association in Scotland is reminding people that stroke remains a clinical priority in Scotland amid the pandemic.

Covid-19 has been tough for all of us. Thanks to the amazing commitment of some truly dedicated people working in the NHS and in social care, lives have been saved and people have been cared for. Stroke teams up and down the country have in many areas managed to continue to offer specialist care and treatment to patients throughout the pandemic. We cannot thank them enough.

But the fallout from Covid-19 is going to pose challenges for everyone in health and social care. Our Recoveries at Risk report last autumn highlighted the real life impact of the pandemic on people recovering from a stroke.

Emerging evidence of links between Covid-19 and stroke means that now, more than ever, a renewed national focus on stroke is needed in Scotland.

Health officials have been working during the pandemic to review evidence and define what ‘a progressive stroke service for Scotland’ should look like.

This will include improved stroke care bundle figures, improved stroke prevention measures, a national thrombectomy service and stroke-specific, person-centred rehabilitation.

The charity is pleased that people affected by stroke will be included in the development of this work.

A draft paper will be with the Scottish Government in the next few weeks. Whatever the outcome of May’s election, the Stroke Association in Scotland expects the next government to push this work on, and for a new, improved, progressive stroke service to be implemented.

Colin Oliver, public affairs officer, the Stroke Association in Scotland