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The truths they don't want you to read....

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Health Board - heading in the right direction

The apparent intention of Western Isles Health Board to reduce the number of patients that are to be sent to Inverness or Glasgow should be whole-heartedly and warmly welcomed.

Apart from the physical discomfort for the patients in having to travel, this also sends the signal that Ospidal nan Eilean is not a branch office of Raigmore.

With a more 'patient-centric' approach we might see the reversal of the trend towards centralisation of services in Raigmore that I warned about some time back. Although, despite accepting the report on Rural General Hospitals in full - which meant centralisation - the minister apparently said that this excluded the Western Isles. (No, I don't understand the rationale either!)

The result of this will have to be that consultants travel to their patients and operations are undertaken here, which can only improve the overall level of care available. It might mean we have to wait a bit longer to be treated, but I think that is an acceptable trade-off for being close to one's family.

As an example, a pre-school child I know requiring minor surgery will have to be in Inverness on Thursday morning for a pm check-in. They are operated on on the Friday. They are discharged on the Saturday morning - having missed the only flight at 7:30am - so they have to catch the only flight on the Sunday at 4pm or face a miserable journey by ferry. And that's two days off work for the parent and four days apart from the family.

Not good.

These plans can only improve an unsatisfactory situation.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...


There is more to treating patients away from home than just the operation etc. The whole event should be looked at not just the hospital stay.
Your comment about the child needing treatment is an interesting one. Similar problems are faced by people have to travel to other hospitals too. The obvious answer is to look at the whiole patient journey and then operate on another day rather than a Friday. This would mean that discharges would take place on a day when there are more flights.
Perhaps the child's parents should raise this with the Board?