The Oban Times
It’s a chronic problem that seems as intractable as it does incurable: over-stretched hospital staff; under-resourced facilities; out- of-touch management issuing unhelpful targets and banal platitudes.
The spotlight this week falls on Lorn and Islands district general hospital in Oban; but, in reality, it could be anywhere in the Highlands - the Belford in Fort William or Raigmore in Inverness.
The letters pages of our family of newspapers, which cover all of Argyll and Lochaber, is often full of the heartfelt gratitude that many patients and their relatives feel about the way they have been treated by the dedicated and skilled staff at these hospitals.
However, it equally clear that the NHS is near to breaking point and that former hospital consultant Brian Mackay’s ‘horror’ at the over-worked staff he saw at the Oban hospital will strike a chord with people who have more than a passing acquaintance with such institutions.
Yet the breathtaking complacency of some NHS managers beggars belief. Take the head of Human Resources at NHS Highland, who told board members this week that there ‘seemed to be a bit of an issue with supply and demand of staff’. It is about time that government and NHS bureaucrats listened more intently to people like Brian Mackay - they may learn something.