Staff know if it ain't broke...

For more than 40 years the blood transfusion people have been coming to my place of work.

The sessions are always busy and the transfusion service staff always highly efficient and friendly.

In the past couple of years they have tried to adopt a booking system that allows staff to give their blood with minimal disruption to their working day, yet caters for additional casual donors who turn up without an appointment.

Today we were confronted with a new system designed by "consultants" to produce a more efficient, effective and safer experience.

There were only six beds instead of the usual nine and people arriving at their pre-booked time had to wait an additional 30 to 40 minutes.

They had a manager with them who blamed teething problems due to staff shortages yet was adamant that the system was here to stay.

The story from disillusioned and apologetic NBTS staff was completely different, indicating yet another

instance where managers and

consultants believed they could run a system better than the staff who have made things work for so many years.

I'll go again in 16 weeks but won't be sure I can afford the time if the same system is in place.

Rob Hilton, address supplied

Hunting act has been made clearer

Contrary to what the Countryside Alliance would like us to believe, the recent judgment on the Hunting Act from the High Court is in fact a very positive step forward in ensuring

illegal hunters are brought to justice. Instead of being a 'new blow to the Hunting Act', this will clarify the law and clear up any confusion around what is legal hunting and what is illegal hunting. There is absolutely no suggestion anywhere in the judgment that the Act is unenforcable.

More importantly this will clear the way for a backlog of cases to pass through the courts which will no doubt see the number of prosecutions rise even further.

The League has always believed the law to be sound and effective and with any law the problem is with enforcement not with the law itself.

Testament to this is the fact nearly 100 MPs have signed a new Early Day Motion calling for better enforcement of the Hunting Act.

Some 75% of the people in the UK do not want to see a return to cruelty when killing wild animals for fun was legal. It's time the Countryside

Alliance et al accepted this and stopped complaining about a law

preventing them enjoying their so called sport.

Douglas Batchelor, chief executive, League Against Cruel Sports, New Sparling House, Holloway Hill, Godalming

Merchant navy reunion appeal

I am writing about the TS Vindicatrix Association. The Vindicatrix was a training ship based at Sharpness, Gloucestershire, where thousands of boys, aged 15-17, trained for service in the British Merchant Navy over the years 1939 to 1966, many of whom gave their lives during World War Two.

Our Association is well established but we are trying to contact as many of these "boys" as we can before they are too old to enjoy our regular

reunions where we have the chance to met old shipmates.

Every effort is being made to see that period of our lives is not forgotten. If you are interested, please contact me at the address below or by telephoning 02392 583896.

Bruce Williams, secretary,

7 Lanyard Drive, Rowner,

Gosport, Hants, PO13 9UY