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

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Another ward to close

Nurses tell me that yet another ward in the hospital is to be closed in the coming weeks.

It is not clear which ward is to go yet, as there is a balancing act between keeping a wing open and efficiencies, but what is clear that the declining use of the hospital is turning it from"state of the art" into "white elephant" in a short period of time.

With the continuing population decline, budget cuts and the centralisation of services the pattern is clear.

But, just how do we reverse it?


Anonymous said...

Depopulation: the bitter truth is - you may not be able to.

In the USA, the stimulus and other measures are, finally, working. They're pulling out of recession; unemployment and repossession rates are falling. The downside of all that though - greater debt.

In the UK, government policy which filters down to the Scottish government, and the councils, is anti-stimulus. Less money. Much less money.

So both essential services, and infrastructure projects - both of which are needed to make the islands attractive to stay in, and/or move to, will be cut.

Essential services includes reasonable schooling provision, and medical services.

Infrastructure projects include reasonable transport links e.g. air and ferry, and communication system e.g. competitive broadband.

None of which are looking healthy, and in the case of some - e.g. the disaster that has been broadband and the haemorehaging of net-based businesses to the mainland - are having a rapid and negative effect on the sustainability of the islands.

I know some people hate this fact, but it's only retirees moving to the islands from far south that are keeping the population figures up. And they need, erm, those hospital wards.

Anonymous said...

8:18 The Connected Communities broadband is, basically, a scam that in time may turn out to be larger than the BCCI scandal for the islands.

Eight years now; how many millions spent on it? And what's the reliability, reach, speed rates and costs?

And the Western Isles has been left with a service so limited and backwards it can never be sold on. Compare to e.g. this one from 3.5 years ago in Venezuela.

The Comhairle and WIE were well suckered on ConCom. Still, the truth always comes out in the end ... in this case it'll be in paperback form ...

Anonymous said...

Get rid of WIHB and have Highland take over = massive savings, better access to specialists, better support for medical staff etc.

Anonymous said...

Don't think you would be better of under Highland health board - you would feel even more marginalised. As far as getting to and from the island, each month seems to be getting harder to get a decent flight price 'cos its full of patients and prisoners.

Anonymous said...


You obvioulsy have no idea what you're talking about. The WIB is alrerady struggling to get more consultant time from HHB as its too busy treating its own people. WIB et al were created to give some local control for Health to local areas, iof we get subsumed back into HHB we will be back where we were 35 years ago and marginalised by the HHB. At least this way there is some local control.

Anonymous said...

Maybe that's because we are asking for their consultants to come over here, so obviously we are at a disadvantage - i.e. marginalised. We do not have the population to meet the patient ratios set by government and never will for many services. We will also always need to access specialist services which again will never be seen in Stornoway. If we were absorbed into a bigger HB we would become an integral part of their strategic planning.

Anonymous said...

and to think that eejit Donnie Morrison at WIE got an MBE for his part in ConCom, WTF! Reeks of snake oil to me.

Anonymous said...


To be accurate (and I'm no fan of him or it) the MBE came in the very early days of ConCom, before any real disappointment was felt, and was for other projects.

Anonymous said...

One of my kids got airlifted off to a mainland hospital at 4am for surgical intervention which could have taken place locally. At the time there was a lot of infighting about the role of the various medical professions and what level of procedure they were permitted by the health board to carry out.

In the event, there was effectively an 18hr delay before my child was treated, fortunately she was able to be discharged within a week and made a good recovery. A formal complaint about the whole shambles was then made to WIHB

Over the course of the next three months I found out that the annual cost of flying patients around the west coast was about £9m.

There was considerable handwringing from the HB with the only excuse that they could hide behind was 'de-skilling'
The suggestion was made to them at that time (several years ago) that they consider thinking outside the box in order to retain skilled surgical staff and make full use of their available facilities.
Nationally, there is apparently a shortage of hospital beds; how difficult would it be to turn Stornoway into a centre of medical excellence and have patients being flown in to the island for treatment. There are other downstream benefits in the provision of high end accomodation for relatives and visitors - take the Jubilee hospital in Clydebank as an example.

Just for once, why can't so called senior administrators and development officers show some initiative when they turn up for work?

'Joined up thinking? sorry, more than my jobsworth'

Anonymous said...

Can you be more accurate, what did he get it for? I think you will find that it was the precursor to ConCom (also a non event)and the ConCom job was his reward.

Why do people get MBEs for doing the job they are paid to do anyway, even worse when they do it badly.

Anonymous said...

9:24 I would not call him in eejit. In some ways, he's a genius. Millions of pounds of, at the end of the day, taxpayers money, has been extracted from the Comhairle, WIE, and other sources.

For a service with a tiny number of subscribers, which is unreliable, expensive, has a capacity that makes it useless for contemporary applications (e.g. how many movies can you download a month on it) and is so slow that most mainlanders - business competitors - would not see it as broadband.

And there still hasn't, yet, been a big scandal outside the islands about it.

Emphasis on the word yet...