CARING BEDSIDE MANNER
Dear Ed, — As many people from Lanark undoubtedly know, my dad Duncan Elder sadly passed away on February 18.
It was a sad occasion that his family and friends will take time to get over but I would like to take this opportunity to write and thank the dedicated team of District Nurses, led by sister Monica Bone, for all the incredible care and help that they gave my dad and my mum during a very trying and difficult time.
These professionals offered 24 hour care and came when called without complaint — my dad, in the end had a peaceful and dignified passing and this was down to the support that was provided.
So many people assume that all help came from the Macmillan Nurse.
She was great — she spoke to my mum and dad and liaised with Monica and her team.
But the day to day care, the administration of medicines and the general warmth came from the nurses who are based at the Health Centre and the Lockhart Hospital.
In these days where the NHS has become a political weapon used and
brandished by the major players in both Edinburgh and Westminster it is often difficult to remember that at very core of the NHS are caring, professional people who strive on a daily basis to make people's quality of lives better and often to help ensure a peaceful passing.
It is important that the people of Lanark and the wider area that the nurses cover know that, if and when they need help and support, there are people nearby who will offer everything they need.
My dad's passing was, as I say, dignified and pain free — and he was allowed the ending that he wanted.
We could not have done this without Monica and her team, all of whom were patient, warm, professional and had bedside manners that were exemplary.
So again, Duncan Elder's family would like to offer their heartfelt thanks and would urge the people of Lanark and surrounding areas to remember what a wonderful team of people we have to help during what can be very difficult and trying circumstances. — Yours etc.,
NHS IS SO GOOD
Dear Ed, — I am singing the praises of our much-maligned National Health Service in general, and Wishaw General Hospital in particular, following my recent positive experience.
In just six weeks — which included Christmas and New Year holidays — from a visit to my GP and immediate referral to Wishaw, I had two colonoscopies, a CT scan, was diagnosed with bowel cancer and had an operation to remove completely the offending polyp!
Two weeks later came the best possible news — no further treatment required.
I owe an immense debt of gratitude to all concerned — from my GP in Coalburn, to surgeon Dr Thornton and her team, to staff on the Day Ward and Wards 17 and 18, not forgetting the tea lady who aided my recovery by making an excellent cup of coffee!
I was met with professionalism, compassion and cheerful good humour.
As my GP said: ''This is how good the NHS is when it works.''
It certainly worked for me and for that I shall be eternally grateful. —Yours etc.,
NAME AND ADDRESS SUPPLIED.
HOME FOR WRITER
Dear Ed, — Can I correct a small error that appeared in your article on the publication of Biggar Museum Trust's Brownsbank anthology (Poetic licence, Carluke and Lanark Gazette, March 4).
In the article it stated that Brownsbank Cottage at Candymill was 'the home in which MacDiarmid wrote some of his best works'.
In fact, the poetry which had by the 1960s established MacDiarmid's international reputation had been written and published in the 1920s and 30s, long before he came to live at Brownsbank in 1951.
His literary output from his arrival at Brownsbank until his death in 1978 consisted mainly of literary criticism, polemic and autobiography.
However, it was while he lived at Brownsbank that his literary genius gained global recognition.
The publication of his Collected Poems in 1962 to coincide with his 70th birthday brought him international attention and acclaim, and in subsequent years he travelled throughout the world to receive innumerable literary honours and promote a renascent Scottish culture.
It was also from Brownsbank that he sallied forth to stir up the controversies that have largely shaped modern arts and letters in Scotland.
Brownsbank also received the steady stream of revenants who came to pay homage during his last decades, including the Russian dissident poet Yevgeny Yevtushenko, the American Beat poet Allen Ginsberg, and a young Seamus Heaney.
The cottage continues to attract 30-40 visitors each year from around the world.
So, while most of his best writing had already been done before he came to live at Brownsbank, the cottage itself remains an iconic part of his legacy and an important site in Scottish literary history. — Yours etc.,
PROUD OF SCHOOL
Dear Ed, — As a parent of two children attending Tinto Primary School in Symington, I am writing to praise the hard work and dedication of the head teacher and staff to turn our school around.
It was a hard year last year after the poor HMI result which, in all honesty, appeared very harsh to me and in part unjustified in its findings.
As a result it was hard for the school and parents to cope with the poor reputation the school had.
I am aware that the inspectors have since been out once again to review the school.
But even before knowing the public result of this, I would like to recognise the amount of work by the school, parents and the pupils for making this once again a school to be proud of.
And, in time, I hope the local learning community once again gives Tinto the recognition and reputation that it deserves. — Yours etc.,