NHS has changed
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.”