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YOUR VIEWS: Inverness car park woes and NHS Highland challenges

By Gregor White

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Parking is drivers’ responsibility

Rose Street Retail Park car park has been causing a headache for many local drivers. Picture: James Mackenzie.
Rose Street Retail Park car park has been causing a headache for many local drivers. Picture: James Mackenzie.

There has been so much publicity about parking at Rose Street that I would think everybody in Inverness must surely know by now that there is no free parking there.

If there were “no clear signs saying there isn't a grace period”, the user should assume that there isn't one. Parking for any length of time without paying is always going to be a lottery - you might get away with it (although not a chance with ANPR cameras), you might not.

Either way, the choice is ours, and if we don't get away with it, we should pay the fine and accept that we made the wrong decision that time.

The car park is probably best avoided, though, if there's any doubt about their policy - from what I've read about the many problems, personally, I would certainly think twice before parking there.

Stephanie Bruntlett


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Patients have a role to play in easing pressures on NHS

Could people being doing more to ease the burden on the NHS?
Could people being doing more to ease the burden on the NHS?

I was interested to read on Tuesday of NHS Highland’s plans to save much needed money by cutting non-diagnostic vascular services. I wonder whether NHS Highland have come across the work of Dr Aseem Malhotra, a now well-known cardiologist? He explains the power of lifestyle choices for health, rather than an over-reliance on medication. He gives the example of a GP in north England, David Unwin, saving his practice £45,000 just by working with his type 2 diabetic patients to make different lifestyle choices that saved the need for medication, and thus the NHS money. (“The future of healthcare is lifestyle medicine” podcast on Youtube). Malhotra estimates if this was rolled out across the entire NHS it would save £423 million. What about rolling it out across the Highlands? Imagine how much money that would save if this approach was taken for all ailments (where possible). I’m sure there may be many forward-thinking GPs possibly doing this already, but considering the GP workload, and the pressure from some patients for instant relief from their ailments, this is perhaps not yet high on the agenda.

My point is the pressures on the NHS are a responsibility for all of us – Ask not what the NHS can do for you, but what you can do for the NHS. I personally believe we all have a role to play by making choices to eat healthier food, moving more and using stress reduction techniques to maintain and improve our health. We can all save the NHS money, so it can be used where it is most urgently needed. It’s up to us to take responsibility for our health and wellbeing, rather than solely expecting the NHS to prescribe us medication (which is free by the way in Scotland – it isn’t in England, which incurs a large cost). More trauma? There doesn’t need to be. It’s our choice, not just NHS Highland’s.

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