Con­cerns mount about Skye health pro­vi­sion

The Oban Times - - News -

THE Scot­tish Par­lia­ment’s Pub­lic Pe­ti­tions Com­mit­tee is to again write to the Scot­tish Gov­ern­ment over grow­ing con­cerns about the re­design of health ser­vices in Skye and Lochalsh.

Con­stituency MSP Kate Forbes par­tic­i­pated in the dis­cus­sion ses­sion and high­lighted the grow­ing pres­sures on the pro­vi­sion of care and pal­lia­tive beds.

After­wards, the Skye MSP said it is loud and clear that both the north and south of the is­land wants ‘ ro­bust and de­pend­able ser­vices’.

She said: ‘I at­tended the Pub­lic Pe­ti­tions Com­mit­tee on be­half of Skye res­i­dents again be­cause I know how much in­ter­est there is in the out­come of this pe­ti­tion.

‘I am pleased that the cross-party com­mit­tee spent so much time ask­ing ques­tions and dis­cussing the pe­ti­tion.’

Ms Forbes added: ‘De­spite a rec­om­men­da­tion to close the pe­ti­tion, I made the case for it to re­main open un­til we have as­sur­ances.

‘I sug­gested that the com­mit­tee in­vite the pe­ti­tion­ers back to give ev­i­dence and there was also a sug­ges­tion about a round-ta­ble dis­cus­sion with pe­ti­tion­ers, NHS High­land and MSPs. How­ever, nei­ther of these op­tions was agreed.’

It was said that MSPs are now go­ing to write again to Shona Ro­bi­son, the health sec­re­tary.

Ms Forbes con­cluded: ‘The pe­ti­tion has been open for more than 18 months now, and let­ters have gone back and forth about ex­pec­ta­tions around emer­gency care, care beds and com­mu­nity en­gage­ment which don’t al­ways marry with the re­al­ity on the ground.

‘I asked MSPs to make sure there is some­thing tan­gi­ble be­fore they close the pe­ti­tion.

‘The com­mit­tee needs tan­gi­ble ev­i­dence about the process be­ing fol­lowed cor­rectly or ser­vices be­ing pro­vided.’

Kate Forbes MSP.

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