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16 October 2014

Arnish Lighthouse

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I have, on consideration, revamped this entry.

I have had some critical comments in recent days about my stance regarding NHS Western Isles. Implicit in the criticism was the assertion that I blindly copy reports that slam the NHS Board.

The current senior management team in NHS Western Isles have allowed a culture of bullying and harassment to fester, making it impossible for people to air constructive criticism. This is necessary, in order to improve the running of any organisation. A report in the regional press (West Highland Free Press, 26 May 2006) left me therefore deeply concerned.

Three people have died of cancer-related illnesses, allegedly because crucial information about hospital investigations did not reach their GP, either on time or at all. It is suggested that as a result, further tests were not carried out and the patients basically did not receive the care that their condition warranted. In one instance, the discharge summary from the hospital took 8 weeks to reach the GP surgery. NHS Western Isles have replied to this report, saying that it is aware of its findings.

These are press reports, pertaining to an extremely serious matter, if substantiated. Any Health Board will have the health and wellbeing of patients under its care as a top priority. A breakdown of communication of the magnitude as alleged in the WHFP report would warrant immediate investigation and more importantly, resolution. The incidents of alleged bullying and harassment of staff, who are critical of higher management leave me deeply concerned. In the past, criticism of the Health Board Management by staff has been met with an icy disregard. Now that allegations have surfaced which, if true, would suggest that patient care is in jeopardy as a result of systems failures. I would call on the management of the Western Isles Health Board to act constructively and regain some of the confidence lost. Failing that, resignation is the only other option.
Posted on Arnish Lighthouse at 20:46


I think it is time to move beyond communication, Arnish. How about ex-communication? [If I remember correctly, this sanction is blessed both by the C of E and the C of R]. By the way, have there been personnel cuts at IBHQ? Are they on holiday? getting their documents ready for the World Cup? Not so nasty comments seem to disappear in thin air in an unpredictable manner. G-d bless you Graham, what gives - hombre?

mjc from NM,USA

It is strange that in these days of instant communcations, state of the art technology, and huge amounts of taxes being directed into the Health coffers that in reality nothing changes. It is a world wide phenomen .. except if you are rich and can, or are willing to pay ... and then you move way up the priority list. Health is secondary to the ability to pay.

Plaid from New Zealand

That is an extremely serious accusation to state that three people have actually died because of a communciation breakdown. I think health board lawyers may be interested in your statement. What press reported that in such strong terms?

Iain Macleod from Stornoway

This comment is defamatory and legal action must be taken. It's about time Mrs Burns was appraised of what you are doing.

Withheld for legal reasons from Stornoway

Tip: use the words alleged/allegedly regularly in such posts.

Jimmy from Eilean Leodhais

Right, Jimmy from Eilean Leodhais, as in "alleged management" ...

mjc from NM,USA

Why shoot the messenger?

Arnish Lighthouse from Stornoway

Precisely, mjc! It does at least offer some legal protection to the poster...allegedly ;-)

Jimmy from Eilean Leodhais

A more elaborate contribution (than my note to JImmy above) to the discussion seems to have disappeared again in thin air. As there was nothing offensive or judicially actionable in the note I sent, I must admit to bafflement. Perhaps IBHQ could lay any doubt to rest: if something is censored, perhaps a note "contribution by mjc - censored" in the blog could be inserted. In the absence of a note, then we would assume that the contribution somehow (merely) got lost. Makes for clarity and certainty.

mjc from NM,USA

mjc, click on the IBHQ in the links at left for an explanation. Seems to be some kind of database problem - allegedly!

Jimmy from Eilean Leodhais

hello, i haven't rejected any messages in this thread. g

Graham, IBHQ from glasgow

To reconstruct what disappeared in thin air: - first re: Withheld ... 1. "Withheld for legal reasons" - I can't imagine anything but inordinate ... uuhh ... diffidence that prevents you from putting your real name if you wanted to. 2. You will note that you are the one who mentioned names (i.e. Mrs. Burns), not Arnish. 3 "Legal action MUST (my emphasis, your word) be taken." I assume you will come up for air (and use your real name) when it comes time to pay not only plaintiff's fees but the defendant's (as is traditionally the case when plaintiff loses). 4. I would assume Mrs. Burns is aware of the discontent and the blogging, particularly if you are: if not, I am surprised you have not already made a beeline to her lodging (is it the ...uuhh.. alleged B&B?) with tokens of your sleuthing. As to Iain Macleod: let it be noted off the bat that I have nothing against medical doctors and hospital administrators per se {my wife happens to be an oncologist-hematologist, professor of medicine, and has been chief medical officer in a tertiary (research) referral medical center}. Mismanagement occurs, bullying takes place in medical centers (check literature), and patient care suffers when incompetent administration exists, particularly in out of the way places where the best and brightest civil servants are not always to be found. Arnish Lighthouse focuses on what she clearly views as systemic problems. If she is wrong, argue your point. Reference to "health board lawyers" is nonsense, and smacks of attempted intimidation. In passing, Arnish is also right to deplore the absence of hospice facility, however small. I do hope there is some place locally where terminally ill patients are able to get palliative care. You yourself might need it one of these days. Too bad I am thousands of miles away, or I would be delighted to poke my nose in a situation which (allegedly?) smells more potent than the effluence of a raccoon in full vigor.

mjc from NM,USA

Hang in there with the trenchent comments Mr Lighthouse, a whole sea of 'allegeds and allegedlies' won't dilute the message. Yours is the best blog on the site, even if it sometimes takes a long time for a cat of small brain to read it all!

Flying Cat from perched precariously on a soapbox

" I have, on consideration, revamped this entry. " I am not taking sides here but It is very apparent that some of the wannabe investigative journalists on this forum have very poor legal awareness. Some of you appear to be publishing actionable material and are leaving yourselves open to legal action - not necessarily by management - but by medical staff too. There have been several examples of that here in the past while and I know one hospital staff member who is very aggrieved at comments here which she says are the result of a proven untruth. 'Revamping' a posting is not a public withdrawal or apology - legally, it is closer to an admission of wrongdoing - so I would urge extreme caution because from what I see it can be proven that your recklessness has been properly brought to your attention and you have disregarded it. Could be dodgy as the courts have been known to make examples of persistent offenders. I have to be honest that I am very concerned that you continue to merely recycle the various accusations that appear in the press as fact with little attempt to balance it with the health bosses views. Remember that some of the recent leaks like MRSA to quote one example were based on draft documents which we now learn did not reflect the true position. Outbreaks of leaking and deliberate mischief making can be fraught with legally difficulties and a section of the Western Isles media is, in my opinion as a person with legal training, not vigilant enough or not experienced enough to keep them out of bother if there was a legal challenge - particularly by individual staff - whatever the public interest. All I am really saying is that it would appear that you should choose your words more wisely.

MCMD from Benbecula

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