Health board claims public were aware of transfer of urology service to Glasgow
THE locality manager Of Oban, Lorn and the Isles has written to
The Oban Times in response to an article concerning urology services that featured in last week’s newspaper.
The letter from Annie MacLeod claims the public were told about the loss of the urology service in January 2017.
Ms Macleod said: ‘First of all, we feel it is important to highlight that the local community in Oban has a fantastic facility right on its doorstep with Lorn and Islands Hospital, which provides a wide and varied range of inpatient and outpatient services for the people of Oban, the islands and surrounding areas.
‘Staff in the hospital, and also those in the community, are dedicated to their roles and work extremely hard to ensure that they deliver a high standard of health and social care services for the public.
‘We are treating more and more people locally at the hospital and in the past year more than 16,300 people were seen at the hospital, which is an increase of three per cent on the year before.
‘This is good news for the hospital and good news for the local community. We have also built on the skills of the staff that we have and a wider range of services such as cardiology and enhanced diagnostic services are now being provided locally which means many people don’t have to travel to Glasgow for investigations and treatment.
‘In short, the hospital provides more services than it did five years ago.
‘It is also important to highlight that there is a recognised national shortage of specialist consultants, so unfortunately we are unable to provide a full range of consultant-led services from Oban.
‘We have been advertising for over two years but have been unable to recruit a replacement lead urologist to support the service locally and therefore members of the public will have to travel to Glasgow to access some specialist consultant-led services such as urology.
‘We have worked closely with NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde to provide a safe service in Glasgow for those individuals with complex needs or suspected cancer and this totals approximately 80 patients per year.
‘This decision was taken on the basis of the safety of our patients and clinically was the right thing to do. We do, however, continue to provide some services locally through our specialist urology nurse at the hospital where it is clinically appropriate to do so.
‘The change to the urology service was discussed at the Oban Community Council public meeting in January 2017 as well as in the future planning group of Lorn and Islands Hospital.
‘Urology services were also discussed at the Health Care Forum and all GP practices were notified of this change at the end of last year to try to ensure that we used multiple ways to communicate the change of service.
‘In relation to some of the comments made in the paper [reported from the community council meeting], we do not think it is appropriate to debate in public individual cases but if anyone does have any concerns then please contact us and we will happily discuss it with them. At the same time, we will also continue to work and inform the local community.
‘We do fear, however, that constant criticism of the hospital with incorrect information as reported last week does no-one any good and only damages the reputation of the facility and also the morale of our staff.
‘It also makes it increasingly difficult to attract potential staff of all disciplines who may be thinking of moving to the area.
‘We would, therefore, urge everyone concerned to think of what we can all achieve for the local community if we all work together and recognise what a great hospital and community health and social care team we have in Oban.’