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16 October 2014

Arnish Lighthouse

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Reactions to my post of 30 May 2006, regarding yet another (alleged) disaster within NHS Western Isles have left me less than pleased. In the 6 months of the Island Blogging project for the Western Isles, I have consistently flagged up failings within the organisation of the NHS in these isles; threats with legal action by people who cannot be held to account (there is no traceability in the Comments section, or is there, Graham?) would be entirely the sort of reaction that employees of NHS Western Isles can expect if they raise concerns. Stating that the lack of communication CAUSED the unfortunate deaths I referred to in the earlier version of the 30 May piece is an inaccuracy on my part, which I have now corrected.

If the relatives of the deceased were to raise a complaint, this matter would be looked into and at worst, the documented systems failure could be held to be a contributary factor. That has, by law, not been ascertained. Hence my rewriting of the piece. Nonetheless, the breakdown of communications remains a systems failure and a very serious matter. Rather than shooting a messenger, those that shout so loudly would do better to hold those that do not act on the systems failure to account.

Another problem was flagged up by the Western Isles MP at the end of last week. Endoscopies requested by doctors to be carried out at Uist & Barra Hospital were delayed by up to 6 months. Apparently because the requisite equipment was not on site, according to the MP. Endoscopy involves inserting a tube with a camera into the oesophagus (the tube linking the mouth to the stomach) and the stomach. It is a common procedure, used for diagnosing peptic ulcers of the stomach or the duodenum (the first bit of gut after the stomach) as well as cancer of those organs. Delaying these diagnostic procedures mean that treatment would be delayed, and (as the MP highlighted) time is of the essence in treatment of (not just ulcers but particularly) cancer.

I take the liberty, afforded to me and everybody else by law, to highlight systems failures within NHS Western Isles as they come to light. I think I have adequately attributed the information in this post, and not drawn any conclusions that are non-substantiable.

Can we please have an open discussion, rather than slamming each other with the threat of lawyers? They earn quite enough already.

Moran taing.
Posted on Arnish Lighthouse at 17:21


Hello, as per my note in "Communications" below, I clearly assumed (Arnish from NM somehow sounds like a female name) you are a woman. I note from one or two comments by people who may know you that you are probably a man. Am I to refer to he/she or, heavens forbid, it? Got to go Arnish. I am off to the countyTax Assessor's office, taking an abacus with me (I would if I had one!), to help them with their calculations on the tax levied on my modest abode. It does not do any harm to have an education and a "you can't do that" to me/us attitude: otherwise the politicos and bureaucrats will roll all over one without a "by your leave." Hasta la vista.

mjc from NM,USA

MJC, Arnish is the anglicised version of Aranais, the peninsula and area of adjacent moorland some 3 miles south of Stornoway. I'm using it as a nom de plume, for reasons outlined in the header of the blog. English is such a convenient language for hiding your gender :-D

Arnish Lighthouse from Stornoway

I don't know why the French virus seems to infect the islands, both NI and WI. Flying cat seems to have gotten a bad case. "...nom de plume" indeed! What is wrong with "pseudonym" - equally convenient for hiding anything and everything. I heard French is dying in the UK schools: high time I say (kidding!)... time to purge the country of the consequences of the Battle of Hastings (and of the nonsense which at one time viewed French as a civilized and the diplomatic language). A little xenophobia before breakfast (or lunch, or is it "tea"?) does not do anyone any harm, particularly during the World Cup season.

mjc from NM,USA

Xenophobia, eh? Nice one. It was xenophobia that started World War II. Anyway, that is totally irrelevant to the content of the post. Got any thoughts on that, MJC? I am glad that the MP, the MSP and two senior Comhairle nan Eilean Siar councillors are now on the case. Shows the severity of the situation. Is "Withheld for legal reasons" going to sue all these four for criticising the Health Board?

Arnish Lighthouse from Stornoway

Six months wait for an endoscopy? Amazing. I certainly would not want to wait that long for one, particularly if I am passing blood in my stool!! I remember checking in at the hospital in Georgia (US) immediately after returning from Grenada (island of), and it was a tremendous psychological relief to have the procedure done immediately and the diagnostic (bleeding ulcer from too much ibuprofen: I should have known better) available quickly. The benefits of carrying out needed procedures quickly are not only psychological, but also medical and, to be crass about it, economical. What is the waiting time for a colonoscopy?

mjc from NM,USA

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