Magic medicine

The Scotsman - - Letters To The Editor -

I worked in the NHS be­fore the days of NHS chief ex­ec­u­tives. Man­age­ment then was by lo­cal com­mit­tees, or by civil ser­vants in Ed­in­burgh. Slow and pon­der­ous, it didn’t work well, par­tic­u­larly for parts dis­tant from the Cen­tral Belt.

It would be good to know what James Wat­son (Let­ters, 12 Oc­to­ber) has in mind when he sug­gests a stream­lined struc­ture that works and that doesn’t have any­one ac­count­ably in charge.

HUGH PEN­NING­TON

Carl­ton Place, Aberdeen

Chiefs in seven dif­fer­ent health boards are giv­ing up their jobs due to the im­pos­si­bil­ity of squar­ing the cost and wait­ing time cir­cle.

This should send shud­ders through us, all in­clud­ing politi­cians who are wait­ing to see who is first to blink on the re­al­ity of the sit­u­a­tion and the so­lu­tion, which is: we need to pay more for health­care, eat less, ex­er­cise more and de­mand, get and par­tic­i­pate in more early di­ag­no­sis screen­ing pro­grammes.

And there should be in­cen­tives and dis­in­cen­tives to en­cour­age this.

Health sec­re­tary jeane Free­man is, we are told, ex­tremely able. What she needs to do is get her po­lit­i­cal ri­vals round the ta­ble and ask them for their unswerv­ing sup­port for the changes re­quired so the elec­torate knows its re­spon­si­bil­i­ties and there are no soft op­tions in terms of po­lit­i­cal par­ties to vote for.

AL­LAN SUTHER­LAND

Wil­low Row, Stone­haven

worse off un­der Uni­ver­sal Credit can take on more work to in­crease their in­come com­pletely ig­nores the fact that a lack of work has put them onto it in the first place.

If she can­not per­ceive such a ba­sic flaw in her ar­gu­ment, she is not fit to be in Par­lia­ment, let alone Cab­i­net.

MARK BOYLE

Linn Park Gar­dens John­stone, Ren­frew­shire

It is not very of­ten I agree with a Con­ser­va­tive, es­pe­cially on wel­fare poli­cies, but step for­ward Sir John Ma­jor and his damn­ing crit­i­cism of Uni­ver­sal Credit.

Sir John is not the first pre­vi­ous PM to sound alarm bells on this is­sue, Gor­don Brown also waded in this week, say­ing un­rest in our streets could fol­low if the West­min­ster govern­ment don’t halt the roll-out of this ben­e­fit.

Uni­ver­sal Credit has been a dis­as­ter since the be­gin­ning, plung­ing many into even worse poverty and lead­ing to a four­fold in­crease in foodbank use where they have been rolled out.

Yet Es­ther Mcvey’s re­sponse is, “some peo­ple will be worse off un­der Uni­ver­sal Credit, but they can take on more work to in­crease their in­come”. It re­ally is breath­tak­ing to hear such ar­ro­gance from a govern­ment min­is­ter.

Surely Ms Mcvey should con­sider her po­si­tion be­fore win­ter sets in, a time when many have to make the stark choices be­tween eat­ing or heat­ing.

CATRIONA C CLARK

Hawthorn Drive Ban­knock, Falkirk

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