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30 July 2014
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Arnish Lighthouse

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Bethesda Hospice

NHS Western Isles is in the news this morning in connection with the Bethesda Hospice in Stornoway. According to our MSP the Hospice could be deregistered at the end of May as it no longer conforms to the regulations for Hospices. These require a doctor, who specialises in palliative care, to be available.

Hospices care for people who are in the last stages of life, to give them as good a quality of life as care and their own physical condition allows. The Bethesda Hospice is privately run, with medical cover provided through the Western Isles Health Board.

The Board's medical director stated that the GP who previously provided cover had to withdraw service as the practice could no longer sustain her in that position. Furthermore, NHS Western Isles did not feel that a population of 25,000 merited a palliative care specialist in the islands.

I think that our MSP was absolutely justified in calling for the resignation of the Board's Chief Executive, Medical Director and Chairman. It is totally unacceptable that people in the last stages of their lives may be required to stay in an acute hospital (like Western Isles Hospital), which is already short of beds. Or worse, may be required a transfer to a mainland hospice. Furthermore, the Bethesda Hospice is strongly supported by the local community, receiving a large amount of charitable donations.

If the mismanagement was not already reason enough, this is another reason for the Board's management to be replaced. The Medical Director has shown himself to be totally out of touch with the community he is supposed to serve. The MSP will raise the issue in the Scottish Parliament at the next opportunity.
Posted on Arnish Lighthouse at 13:45


And of course the Scottish Executive wash their hands of the whole sordid business by saying it's a local affair. It's beyond local resolution, my dear chaps. Time to take action, as this will not be tolerated here in Lewis.

Arnish Lighthouse from Stornoway

Well said Arnish.

Annie B from the usual

Perhaps we could convince the powers that be that Bethesda is an upmarket B&B to be run by an NHS managers' family instead of a crucial service for the island? There doesn't seem to be any problem in securing funds for the former, whereas maintaining healthcare for the community is obviously a low priority.

Angry from Lewis

And we all blithely believe a politician anxious to grab the headlines because he is beginning to realise he is probably unelectable, don't we?

Calum D from Stornoway

Check your facts please. MSP Morrison has not called for resignations but makes some febble threats to do so if the situation isn't sorted out - as he knows well it will be. Health board payments to Bethesda still continue. Note that the rules are made by the very government Alasdair Morrison is part of. Methinks Calum D has hit the nail on the head. Any utterings from Alasdair Morrison should be taken in the context of desperately chasing votes

john Macleod from Stornoway

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