Hospital provides a fabulous service
The Oban Times story of the body in A&E was picked up in sensational fashion on the front page of the Daily Mail (June 30).
The effect of this is surely to undermine the morale of the colossally loyal and hard-working existing staff at Lorn and Islands Hospital in Oban, and makes it more difficult to attract new staff to come and work here. It must also have made it very distressing for the family involved.
Peter Bennie, of the BMA Scotland, said last week: ‘ The financial difficulties facing the NHS in Scotland, and the pressures on our clinical workforce are unrelenting. Good health services cost money, and health spending is a political choice. We want the Scottish public to be consulted on what they need from the health service, and they must be told honestly how much it will cost.’
That is the point. Your paper, along with the whole people of this area, should be highlighting and supporting the superb service this whole area receives from its hospital in Oban, despite the constant budget cuts at local level, and the unwelcome problems caused by those cuts. Funding for NHS Scotland is in the hands of the Scottish Government. We all have a say in the matter.
Your contributor, David Pollard from Mull, makes a very good point about the ‘island proofing’ policy. By contrast, Michael Russell MSP, in your article, reveals the real Scottish Government direction of travel – ever increasing centralisation of services.
Mr Russell refers to Oban’s hospital as ‘doing all the things a community hospital does best’. Oban is not a community hospital; it is one of six district general hospitals, classified as such by Nicola Sturgeon.
There is a huge difference between the two categories of provision. For Oban to be downgraded to community hospital status would mean infinitely more patient services being transferred to Glasgow or Inverness, with all the uncertainty, cost, unnecessary travel and anonymity of service that implies. The Oban Times is the voice of the people of Oban, Lorne and the Isles. Please will your editorial team become the champions of the vital services that are currently provided by Oban Lorn and Islands Hospital as a district general facility.
The headline I look forward to seeing is: ‘ Oban Times succeeds in saving Oban hospital service.’ Mike Robertson, Oban.