NHS has changed

Rutherglen Reformer - - Reformer View -

De­spite all the as­sur­ances from NHS La­nark­shire that noth­ing would change for pa­tients in this area since we were moved from NHS Greater Glas­gow and Clyde, things have al­ready changed.

This week I vis­ited my GP in Ruther­glen to be re­ferred for an ur­gent scan at hos­pi­tal. He told me that I would have to go to Mon­k­lands Hos­pi­tal in Air­drie. When I asked why could I not go to the new Vic­to­ria Hos­pi­tal he replied “we are in NHS La­nark­shire now. That’s the pro­ce­dure.”

This was news to me and no doubt many other lo­cal peo­ple.

The Vic­to­ria is 15 min­utes away by bus from the Main Street and has all the up to date fa­cil­i­ties.

I had no idea where Mon­k­lands was but I checked and found it would take me two hours and two buses to get there and the same jour­ney back again.

I did with­out the scan. I could, of course, have gone to the Vic­to­ria A&E as an emer­gency out of hours and had it there. The whole sys­tem is in­sane. I agree with MSP John Pent­land in his call, re­ported in last week’s Re­former, for the chief ex­ec­u­tive of NHS La­nark­shire to re­sign.

What I would also like to know is why are our lo­cal GPs go­ing along with this de­te­ri­o­ra­tion in ser­vices to their pa­tients.

Don’t all doc­tors have to take an oath , the first line of which is “first, do no harm?” Name and ad­dress supplied

a dra­mat­i­cally-im­proved, and, most im­por­tantly, a safe ser­vice for pa­tients, which could not have been achieved with­out the in­terim changes.

Re­gret­tably, this may not have been clear to read­ers as a re­sult of the con­jec­ture and mis­lead­ing in­for­ma­tion pro­vided by MSP John Pent­land. Our staff are work­ing ex­tremely hard to pro­vide a safe and ef­fec­tive ser­vice for pa­tients and it is re­gret­table that Mr Pent­land’s com­ments will have un­justly dam­aged the con­fi­dence of your read­ers and users of our ser­vice.

There has been a dra­matic im­prove­ment in per­for­mance since the in­terim ar­range­ments were in­tro­duced on July 1, 2015. We have the ev­i­dence to prove it.

The latest fig­ures show that new out-of-hours model in­tro­duced on July 1, has led to a dra­matic in­crease in the num­ber of GP ses­sions filled with fewer than two per cent of shifts un­filled in re­cent weeks.

This com­pares to the start of the year when monthly, there was an av­er­age of 15 per cent of shifts be­ing un­filled and a much higher fig­ure of un­filled shifts at week­end times when we were rou­tinely hav­ing to shut cen­tres at short no­tice.

For home vis­its within one hour, per­for­mance has been as high as 94 per cent com­pared to an av­er­age of just 50 per cent be­fore.

The bot­tom line is pa­tients are now be­ing seen sooner in im­proved fa­cil­i­ties. Per­for­mance is con­tin­u­ing to im­prove over time and there has been ex­tremely pos­i­tive feed­back from GPs, nurses and an­cil­lary staff.

NHS La­nark­shire is a suc­cess­ful or­gan­i­sa­tion and is regularly iden­ti­fied as one of the best per­form­ing boards in Scot­land for can­cer care; it rou­tinely out­per­forms the na­tional tar­get for re­fer­ral to treat­ment wait­ing times; has been com­mended on the work as­so­ci­ated with al­co­hol brief in­ter­ven­tions; and is see­ing sig­nif­i­cant im­prove­ments through im­ple­men­ta­tion of the Scot­tish Pa­tient Safety Pro­gramme.

We are very open about the chal­lenges we face in ar­eas such as re­cruit­ment, which are a prob­lem not just for La­nark­shire, but across Scot­land and the rest of the UK. De­spite the chal­leng­ing po­si­tion, NHS La­nark­shire con­tinue to at­tract and re­cruit new staff.

The num­ber of whole time equiv­a­lent staff work­ing for NHS La­nark­shire in­creased by 607 from March 2012 to March 2015 – up 6.2 per cent.

This in­cluded an in­crease of 27 med­i­cal staff, an ad­di­tional 375 nurs­ing and mid­wifery staff and 81 ad­di­tional al­lied health pro­fes­sion­als.

NHS La­nark­shire will ac­cept crit­i­cism when we make an er­ror, or ser­vices are not op­er­at­ing as ef­fec­tively as we ex­pect.

We will chal­lenge when crit­i­cism is un­fair or un­rea­son­able.

Calum Camp­bell, NHS La­nark­shire, Chief Ex­ec­u­tive

Last week the Scot­tish Gov­ern­ment pub­lished a new piece of draft leg­is­la­tion, the Pri­vate Hous­ing (Ten­an­cies) Bill, which seeks to re­form the rental regime for pri­vately rented houses in Scot­land.

As a land­lord with a num­ber of prop­er­ties in Glas­gow and the sur­round­ing area, I think it is high time that steps are taken to mod­ernise the agree­ments I have with my ten­ants and broadly welcome these pro­pos­als.

I al­ways seek to work to the high­est pos­si­ble stan­dards and in­vest in my prop­er­ties when­ever I am able in or­der to im­prove them.

How­ever, I am con­cerned about two mea­sures in the leg­is­la­tion which might make it harder for me to carry out that in­vest­ment.

The pos­si­ble in­tro­duc­tion of rent con­trols, os­ten­si­bly to help tackle rises in hotspots such as Aberdeen and Ed­in­burgh, makes me worry that I will not be able to rea­son­ably in­crease rent lev­els when I need to pay for im­prove­ments I have made or as a re­sult of in­creased costs due to new checks or equip­ment I am re­quired to have by law.

If those land­lords and let­ting agents who try to be re­spon­si­ble are dis­cour­aged and leave the mar­ket, then that vac­uum could be filled by rogue play­ers who do not care about their cus­tomers and will put them in sub­stan­dard prop­er­ties.

Sim­i­larly, the pro­posal to re­move my right to bring a ten­ancy to an end, sub­ject to a rea­son­able no­tice pe­riod, makes me feel the bal­ance in the re­la­tion­ship be­tween my­self and my ten­ants is shift­ing too far in favour of the ten­ant.

It seems fun­da­men­tally un­fair that two par­ties can en­ter into an agree­ment and only the ten­ant is al­lowed to bring it to a nat­u­ral end. I am also con­cerned that this new ar­range­ment will make it much harder, as well as tak­ing much longer, to end ten­an­cies where ten­ants en­gage in anti-so­cial be­hav­iour, dam­ag­ing my rep­u­ta­tion amongst neigh­bours.

I hope that our lo­cal MSPs will lis­ten to the con­cerns of all sides as they de­bate these new pro­pos­als and that the fi­nal re­sult strikes the right bal­ance be­tween pro­tect­ing ten­ants and giv­ing me the peace of mind to con­tinue in­vest­ing in my prop­er­ties.

Stephen Leonard El­e­va­tion Prop­er­ties Michelle Gal­lagher (45), of Ruther­glen, thinks there is too much of it on the box.

“But there’s noth­ing else to watch. I quite like TOWIE right enough and Real Housewives,”

“But they could get rid of some of it – it’s just rub­bish.”



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