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16 October 2014

Arnish Lighthouse

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The regional press in the islands this week is full of a vitriolic exchange of letters between a high-ranking official of NHS Western Isles and a councillor of Comhairle nan Eilean (a board member) as well as the MSP for the Western Isles.

It is a deplorable sight to see the discussion of problems, besetting the health service in these islands splattered over the letters columns in two newspapers.
It only demonstrates that even communication within the NHS Western Isles Board itself has broken down. It has even gone this far, that the councillor who sits on the Health Board has demanded an apology from the Board chairman for stating that the councillor had tried to raise issues in an open board meeting "for personal and private gain".

Part of the exchange centered on the provision of medical cover to the Bethesda Hospice in Stornoway. The Health Board states it is unable to afford the three palliative care consultants it claims are needed to keep the hospice running, as required under new Scottish Executive guidelines. Yes, of course these were drawn up with densely populated areas in mind. But it would appear that the Board's Medical Director has forgotten about the existence of a Professor in Remote and Rural Medicine within its own organisation. He is uniquely equipped to work out a method that will allow this very small hospice (only 4 beds) to continue to operate in this remote area whilst compliant with the Scottish Executive guidelines. It would be a disgrace if it were forced to close and people in the last stages of life would have to leave the islands for the mainland.

The new press officer for the Western Isles NHS Board will be a Daily Mail columnist who was reportedly sacked from the Glasgow Herald newspaper, after stating that the infamous murders of Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman in the town of Soham (Cambridgeshire, England) a number of years ago would not have occurred if their parents had "kept the Lord's Day". Said columnist is the son of a Free Presbyterian minister who keeps a column in the West Highland Free Press, a Skye-based weekly newspaper, which is one of the Health Board's most bitter critics.
Posted on Arnish Lighthouse at 18:06


Hospice: good suggestion, A.L. A local hospice is both for the dying, and for the relatives and friends who want to be with their loved ones. Rules and guidelines can be construed so as to enable men and women of good will to do the right thing.

mjc from NM,USA

Don't speak about that unspeakable ex-Herald columnist who shall not be named. A vile, vicious nasty wee person whose middle name is Intolerance, and who has it in for anyone who has sexual relations of just about any kind and issue thereof, unless the union be blessed by the Kirk. For NHS Western Isles to employ this person only denotes the sad and desperate state that things have come to. As a Herald reader (for I am a cat of great intellect) I rejoiced mightily upon the departure of this wee free bigot. The Taliban in the West indeed!

Flying Cat from in ward vituperation and bile

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