Health board claims pub­lic were aware of trans­fer of urol­ogy ser­vice to Glas­gow

The Oban Times - - News -

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.’

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