WE are seeing extraordinary gestures of generosity and kindness in these very trying times. We are also hearing of many families and friends getting in touch for the first time in a while. So plenty of good showers are forthcoming from very dark clouds that have not only engulfed our country but the world.

It is predicted that economically the country will be heading for meltdown, with many suffering hardship like never before, a very regrettable situation for anyone. Yet we could turn the corner and become a much more socially just society, looking out for each other, demonstrating the same generosity and kindness that we have all seen recently.

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Now that would be taking the country forward to a new normal, one of concern for our fellow citizens. In an attempt to create a more socially just society the Scottish Government some years ago (2013) established the Scottish Welfare Fund, which has assisted in excess of 350,000 families with a spend in excess of £182 million, this fund is certainly going to come into its own in days to come, in fact it will be a life line to many. The wheels of government can reach out to the vulnerable and needy, but as demonstrated during our current crisis, we all have a part to play.

Catriona C Clark

IT’S been well documented that the NHS had been subjected to continual underfunding for decades. I retired from social care 15 years ago. At that time local authorities were underfunded and forced to close care homes and allowed the private sector to take over.

Many were poorly run, with unqualified staff and poorer staff ratios, profit from vulnerable people being the name of the game. To my deep disappointment and despite Care Commission inspections and training targets, things never really improved. Profit being the be all and end all. There has been scandal after scandal.

True, there are some good ones, but just ask the families who have parents as residents. The whole thing is a lottery and to find a good one is such a difficult task! So it’s no surprise that the death rates in those homes are now being highlighted.

There has been talks of renationalising rail, and other similar public services that have been privatised. To me care homes should be at the front of the queue.

Robin MacLean
Fort Augustus

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