Madam, – We were concerned to hear that Health Improvement Scotland has issued a report into the clinical management of breast cancer in NHS Tayside which highlighted significant variation in two key areas of breast cancer treatment being offered in the area (NHS Tayside to raise cancer drug dosage, Courier. April 2).
We would encourage anyone who thinks they may be affected to contact their GP or oncologist to discuss their concerns.
It is extremely concerning that a decision was taken in these areas to offer a lower dose of FEC-T chemotherapy to patients, and we now need to understand what clinical impact this may have.
It is vital that the same standard of care is in place no matter where patients live in Scotland, with best practice guidelines and patients’ individual circumstances being taken into account to enable patients to make informed decisions about their care.
It is also completely unacceptable that Oncotype DX has not been routinely offered to eligible patients in NHS Tayside.
Tests like this can be vital in guiding decisions about whether chemotherapy is necessary or whether early breast cancer patients can be safely spared its difficult side-effects, and we must ensure equal access across the country to enable all Scottish patients to receive the best treatment for them.
These issues must now be addressed as soon as possible.
We welcome the Scottish Government’s commitment to ensuring that health boards adhere to clinical management guidelines and now hope that NHS Tayside act will swiftly on the recommendations of this report.
Policy and Campaigns Manager (Scotland),
Breast Cancer Care and Breast Cancer Now.
Rent rise shock for tenants
Madam, – I refer to your article relating to rent increases being applied by Bield housing (‘Massive’ rent hikes are defended by housing provider, Courier March 26).
I am a tenant living in Crail and have just been advised of a 9.7% increase in my monthly rent, which equates to £35.92. This has been applied after consultation, apparently between Bield and focus groups, and surveys carried out.
The survey involved spoke about a proposed 2.5% increase and had a 15% reply.
On looking into this I find that the increase is the result of a rent restructuring and this is only the first of three increases over the next two years.
In my case this means a monthly increase of £78.65. Their lack of transparency and failure to be upfront with tenants, who are often elderly and vulnerable, does not show them in a good light.
Tenants and relatives of Bield tenants should check to see how they are being affected.
11 Mackie Gardens,
SNP not behind Brexit chaos
Madam, – I am sure I was not alone in being surprised at the letter “SNP adding to Brexit chaos” (Courier, April 3.)claiming the SNP are “ committed to a no-deal Brexit”.
The writer is utterly mistaken. The SNP has never been in favour of a Brexit of any kind and has been pushing for a second referendum.
Most readers will be aware the Brexit fiasco is the direct result of a schism in the Tory Party which David Cameron was either too weak or apathetic to challenge.
It soon became clear after the referendum the promises of the Brexiteers were practically worthless and every part of the UK would end up poorer.
The SNP were joined in their opposition to Brexit by the Green Party, Plaid Cymru, the Lib Dems and now the Independent Group, while ever widening splits appear in the Tory and Labour ranks.
This did not lessen Theresa May’s fixation on delivering Brexit, although little work was done for almost two years. This incompetence raised the spectre of a No Deal which continues to have the backing of right wing extreme Brexiteers.
Economists, industrialists and business leaders have warned that several areas would suffer severe economic damage, especially Scotland and Cornwall.
There is no way that the SNP would back this.
In the House of Commons the PM agreed to meet the Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn but accused the SNP of not wanting to find a way to deliver Brexit but rather to revoke Article 50 and seek a popular vote to determine the way forward.
She subsequently met with Nicola Sturgeon who has confirmed the PM is not prepared to compromise on anything.
Theresa May has described a second referendum as a betrayal of democracy.
However, she sees nothing wrong in having three Commons votes on her deal and pushing for a fourth.
It is pretty obvious who is adding to the Brexit chaos and it isn’t the SNP.
Scotland the wrong target
Madam, – A survey for Stop Climate Chaos Scotland (SCCS) by YouGov said that 70% of people in Scotland want greater action to tackle climate change.
Tom Ballantine, SCCS chairman, said: “The Scottish Government is failing to tackle climate change with the necessary urgency”.
Why does he pick on Scotland which has a trifling 0.13% of global emissions, and is beating its targets, whilst a fossil-fuelled world awaits?
China and India, with 36% of global emissions, have no intention of reducing them while the United States, with 14.5% of emissions, has withdrawn from the Paris agreement.
That makes over 50% of the world’s emissions uncontrollable.
Mr Ballantine should use SCCS funds to travel to China, India and the US where I’m sure he’d get a warm welcome.
138 Springfield Road ,
Greens’ voice is important
Madam, –Your correspondent Martin Redfern bangs on about how the “Greens have served (their) purpose” (Courier, March 28).
But the Greens are a party growing in influence not just for efforts to halt environmental vandalism in Scotland but because they don’t indulge in the petty tribalism dominating Holyrood and Westminster.
Greens co-leader Alison Johnstone recently said the long-established parties are too used to their ‘own way’ and have failed to shake off the ‘baggage’ of previous political eras.
It seems that Green bashing has become a habit for writers unable to cope with the idea of parties voting for what they believe in rather than voting against their political rivals.
Perth Green Party,
122 Dunsinane Drive.
Punishment by Brunei is wrong
Madam, – I sincerely hope that all possible sanctions are going to be imposed on Brunei for their adoption of Sharia Law and its directive to decapitate homosexuals and adulterers.
This is a gross breach of human rights, and also an appalling crime against humanity.
I would be interested to hear what Muslims in this country have to say about this.
93, Whyterose Terrace,