Readers’ letters

Happy robin -  
Reader Hugh Ilgunas snapped this picture of a wee happy robin in between the showers.Happy robin -  
Reader Hugh Ilgunas snapped this picture of a wee happy robin in between the showers.
Happy robin - Reader Hugh Ilgunas snapped this picture of a wee happy robin in between the showers.
See the issues arousing comment this week.

OUT of Hours

Not just GPs

Dear Ed, – I read with interest the article in last week’s Gazette about the Out of Hours service which is typical of the problems facing people with health issues.

However it is not only the ‘Out of hours service’ that poses problems – the waiting times for people at the Lanark Health Centre and the A and E at Wishaw do also.

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These are the two matters that I have had more comment about from constituents than any other.

The staff, the doctors and nurses, in Lanark Health centre do a brilliant job but the problem is trying to get a face-to-face appointment.

At the beginning of the year people got an appointment within about a fortnight; that was long enough but recently this has got markedly worse with people having to wait four to five weeks for a face-to-face appointment, less however for a telephone appointment.

Naturally the face-to-face appointment is much preferred.

This does seem a surprising situation as I was in on Easter Tuesday in the morning and there were only three people in the waiting area.

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The fundamental question is can this be resolved given the numbers of doctors and nurses available.

Can for example there be a walk in period in the morning where patients are seen if they are prepared to wait.

This might help to cut the missed appointments and act as a way to deliver the service that would solve long waiting times.

This does seem to work elsewhere and I hope this can be examined as a way forward.

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The other major problem is the Accident and Emergency Unit at Wishaw General.

Recently one of my constituents who had a bleeding problem was left on a trolley for five and a half hours.

Another, an old lady, had to wait for treatment over the Easter Weekend for 10 hours and part of the problem in this case was a lack of services to assess her blood and urine.

Apparently these services were not available over the Easter Weekend.

Surely these should be available all the time.

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In conclusion it is not surprising that health is the issue that is uppermost in the minds of the electorate at the moment.

This is a situation that was not improved by a Government cut of £250 million last September of which £100 million has since been returned to NHS Scotland.

Whether it is finance or improvements in organisation that is required to fix the Health Service in Scotland, it must be sorted out as people’s health is far more important than anything else and healthcare problems must be resolved as a matter of urgency.

Healthcare staff from surgeons to managers must be given the full support they need to keep us in good health. – Yours etc,



Food bank cycle

Coming through

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Dear Ed, – This coming weekend I am undertaking a 100 mile bicycle ride, from Innerleithen to Gretna, across the Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale and Tweeddale constituency, raising funds for food banks that operate in the region.

Along the way I will visit the food banks in Peebles, Carluke and Dumfries, each of whom will receive a third share of all monies raised.

Please can I express thanks, through your paper, to all of those who have supported me so far through donations and words of encouragement.

In this time of austerity and welfare cuts, usage of food banks has increased dramatically over the last five years and they desperately need our support.

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If anyone would still like to make a donation there is still time to do this.

My fundraising page will be open until 4pm on Sunday, April 19.

Alternatively, I will be coming through Peebles at 9am on Saturday, Carluke at 4pm on Saturday and Dumfries at 2pm on Sunday so please feel very welcome to meet me at the food bank in any of these towns and any donations will be very gratefully received.

Thank you once again for all of your support, – Yours etc.,




Apology due?

Dear Ed, – Councillor Pat Lee in his wee rant last week about South Lanarkshire Council providing accommodation for Parliamentary Labour candidate, Michael McCann said “..... which is probably being used for his campaign HQ and is probably being subsidised by the tax payer,” was a very serious allegation.

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If Councillor Lee had contacted South Lanarkshire Council, prior to contacting the Gazette, he would have been informed that the Labour Party had rented this accomodation from the council.

The money received will no doubt be of assistance to the council in these times of austerity.

Councillor Lee then used this issue to urge readers to vote SNP.

I think an apology to Mr McCann and the Gazette readers is in order Councillor Lee. – Yours etc.,



Disabled vote

Have your say

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Dear Ed, – The general election on May 7 is a key opportunity for disabled people to make their voices heard at the ballot box.

The next government will be making decisions about everything from whether we get more disabled-friendly homes built to essential support with cooking, washing and getting out and about.

To use your vote make sure you are on the electoral register. There are lots of ways to vote – you can vote at your local polling station, by post, or you can nominate someone to cast your vote for you. The deadline to register to vote is April 20.

Your local council should make sure that disabled people are able to use their vote in person on polling day, for example by making sure polling stations are accessible to wheelchair users, or providing forms in large-print.

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For more information about voting, please visit and ensure you have a say on the important issues that affect your daily life. – Yours etc.,


Campaigns Manager

Leonard Cheshire Disability


Back Barnardo’s

Sail a dragon!

Dear Ed, – Have you thought of fundraising for Barnardo’s Scotland but not quite found the right event for you?

The fifth annual Leith Dragon Boat Challenge on Sunday June 7 2015 at Ocean Terminal might be exactly what you’ve been looking for.

Originating from an ancient Chinese tradition teams compete in Dragon Boats - large canoe-like vessels fitted with ornately carved dragon’s heads and tails - in crews of 16 paddling to compete in multiple timed races over distances of around 250m.

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Each boat has a drummer, who is also part of the team, beating time to keep the paddlers in unison and a professional helmsperson will be in the stern to guide the boat.

Barnardo’s Scotland is inviting people from across Lanarkshire of all abilities to sign up.

Barnardo’s Scotland is delighted to be chosen as the official charity partner of the 2015 event.

This is the ultimate team building event that is suitable for people of all abilities – no previous experience is required.

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We encourage those taking part to be creative with their team costumes as there will be prizes on the day for best fundraisers, best fancy dress and first overall team.

It really does promise to be a great day out!

To register or for more information, contact me on 0131 446 702, email [email protected] or visit the website – Yours etc.,


Events Co-ordinator,


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