Hos­pi­tal pro­vides a fab­u­lous ser­vice

The Oban Times - - Letters -

Sir,

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.

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