Sheriff right to tackle 

Imagine the scene. A five-year-old boy is struggling to breath in a hospital cubicle. Medical staff are assessing and preparing for treatments. The lad’s parents are probably up to ninety. And in the cubicle next door a teenager who has been taken to hospital, presumably because there was something wrong with him, is kicking off. He’s shouting and swearing. He’s causing more distress to the young lad and his already distressed parents.

And when the teenager is asked by a nurse to calm down, he ups his nasty game with more verbals and the situation reaches the stage that the nurse feels threatened and the police are alerted.

But this was neither imagination nor dream. This happened at the Borders General Hospital. And sadly, and shamefully, it happens far too often. This 16-year-old has been in court and admitted his guilt. He doesn’t yet know his punishment but he knows the sheriff is far from happy. He’s been told.

Sheriff Peter Paterson sits in place of the retired Sheriff Kevin Drummond who paid visits to the hospital to meet staff who regularly faced abuse and assault.

Sheriff Drummond took a hard line. So it is pleasing to hear that Sheriff Paterson is also firing from the hip.

Abuse and violence targeted at hospital staff and emergency workers won’t be tolerated, he’s decreed.

We are in complete agreement and will continue to highlight the hospital troublemakers.