Ex­hausted Dorothy records a clip to tell First Min­is­ter of her mis­ery

Daily Record - - INFO - MOIRA KERR re­porters@dai­lyrecord.co.uk

A GRAN has sent an emo­tional mes­sage to First Min­is­ter Ni­cola Stur­geon about the ar­du­ous 200-mile round trips she faces to at­tend 15-minute hospi­tal ap­point­ments. Dorothy An­der­son, 79, from Thurso, Caith­ness, suf­fers dou­ble vi­sion and breath­less­ness caused by the neu­ro­mus­cu­lar dis­ease myas­the­nia. In her video, she revealed the toll that the monthly 100-mile trips to Raig­more Hospi­tal, In­ver­ness, are tak­ing on her. Dorothy’s jour­ney forces her to get up at 5am and use a neb­u­liser be­fore trav­el­ling, and she of­ten doesn’t get home un­til 11pm, all for a 15-minute ap­point­ment to see a throat doc­tor, neu­rol­o­gist or have a tra­cheostomy tube checked.

Her mes­sage, which was played at Holy­rood dur­ing a meet­ing of Caith­ness Health Ac­tion Team rep­re­sen­ta­tives with fig­ures such as Health Sec­re­tary Shona Ro­bi­son and NHS High­land chief ex­ec­u­tive Elaine Mead, has at­tracted thou­sands of views on Face­book.

Fight­ing back tears, Dorothy says: “I would like to ask Ni­cola Stur­geon and Shona Ro­bi­son and Elaine Mead, would any of them be happy to let their mother or their granny travel in a train, if it’s go­ing, for four-and-a-half hours, or on a bus, if it doesn’t break down half­way, to go to an ap­point­ment?”

Hold­ing a photo of her­self to show what she looked like just a year ago, she adds: “I was quite an ac­tive per­son and I want to be an ac­tive per­son again. I don’t want to rely on other peo­ple.

“Peo­ple are not go­ing to come up here with their young fam­i­lies to live if there is not a de­cent hospi­tal within a hun­dred miles.”

Ron Gunn, vice chair­man of Caith­ness Health Ac­tion Team, who recorded the clip on his phone, said: “Shona Ro­bi­son was op­po­site me at the meet­ing, so I showed her the video and had a loud­speaker so every­one could hear it.

“She did write some­thing down but there was no re­sponse, there was si­lence in the room.”

Dorothy is one of more than 11,000 peo­ple from the far north who trav­elled to Raig­more for out­pa­tient ap­point­ments last year be­cause ser­vices were no longer avail­able in places such as Wick.

Ro­bi­son said: “I want to en­sure pa­tients across Scot­land get ac­cess to the best qual­ity health­care, which is why I will be writ­ing to Ms An­der­son to un­der­stand more about the spe­cific details.”

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