The Oban Times

The Oban Times - - 10 Letters -

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.

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