Time to give Stra­cathro the care it de­serves

The Courier & Advertiser (Perth and Perthshire Edition) - - COMMENT -

Sir, – It is with dis­ap­point­ment, but not sur­prise, that I learned of the fresh con­cerns over the fu­ture of Stra­cathro Hos­pi­tal in The Courier (June 14).

Last week­end was the last open­ing of the mi­nor in­juries fa­cil­i­ties in Brechin and Mon­trose at week­ends. North An­gus ac­ci­dents now have to travel to Ar­broath or For­far – and soon to be Dundee or Perth I be­lieve.

Stra­cathro is an ex­cel­lent fa­cil­ity and used by pa­tients from all over Tay­side when Ninewells and PRI can­not cope (al­most all of the time).

NHS Tay­side has han­dled its fi­nances in an abysmal man­ner and left all but Perth and Dundee with min­i­mal fa­cil­i­ties. We need a new set of busi­ness-minded man­agers and not bonusseek­ing in­di­vid­u­als pre­pared to raid the char­ity cof­fers.

Thir­teen years ago Stra­cathro hosted a South African com­pany which worked part of the time for BUPA, PPI and other health in­sur­ance providers. They also did out of hours or­thopaedic work for the NHS over­spill at a dis­counted cost.

How­ever, it was de­cided we did not need this ser­vice and the cost was not jus­ti­fied so they were sent back to South Africa. They left a very pos­i­tive legacy in equip­ment and staff plus many happy clients – pri­vate and NHS.

Stra­cathro is a plea­sure to visit or to be a pa­tient. Park­ing is easy and free (un­like at Ninewells where it can take 45 min­utes to find a space). There are overnight ser­viced rooms for pa­tients and vis­i­tors trav­el­ling from fur­ther afield, plus a bunch of happy help­ful staff (and I speak from per­sonal ex­pe­ri­ence).

When are NHS Tay­side go­ing to look at a sim­i­lar model to the one we had at Stra­cathro 13 years ago?

That’s if they can find another pro­fes­sional com­pany out­side the UK which does not mind be­ing stuffed af­ter they make it work.

Ge­orge Sang­ster. Lo­gie, Mon­trose.

A cor­re­spon­dent is not sur­prised there are con­cerns over the fu­ture of Stra­cathro Hos­pi­tal.

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