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14 July 2014
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Arnish Lighthouse

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NHS Western Isles - Health Minister's Visit (1)

Health Minister Andy Kerr is coming to Stornoway this evening to do some straight talking to the Health Board. I hope this straight talking includes directions to the door for the majority of Board members. After yesterday's revelations regarding the recruitment company, my sacklist has grown so long that a wholesale clear-out is probably the easiest option.

A Finance Director who claimed 13,000 for relocation expenses. From where - just North Wales. Great show, particularly at a time when the Board's financial deficit stood at 3m. And who also received 77k for setting up a B&B. Well, that would set up quite a few here in Lewis.

A Medical Director whose commitment to geriatric medicine goes so deep that it means people are discharged prematurely, under his personal injunction.

A Chief Executive who continues to reside on the mainland, although the job advert did specify that he should come to the isles. He continues to claim weekend commuting expenses - by plane.

A Nursing Director who is so amenable to the Medical Director, in allowing patients to be discharged too early, that her policy could yet invoke strike action by the nursing unions.

Do I need to continue?

What did send my temperature soaring today, was to read the threat that NHS Western Isles could yet be abolished and merged with NHS Highland and NHS Argyll & Bute. I will levy the accusation against the Health Minister that he may well be working towards that. He has allowed this intolerable situation to fester for way, way too long. The managerial malpractices at NHS WI were known for several years before the current showdown, and were repeatedly brought to the Scottish Executive's attention. Giving this lot a chance was the wrong thing to do. I sincerely hope I am wrong in my assessment.

Am awaiting the outcome of tonight's review with bated breath.
Posted on Arnish Lighthouse at 16:44


I am curious to see the denouement. A clean sweep might be justified (in the Minister's eyes) by reference to administrative and economic efficiency of consolidation. ## Oh well, I hear some voodooism in the form of dolls and needles may have some therapeutic value. Others (in UK) swear by photos on a dartboard and darts. Here in the SW (USA), we have a penchant for six shooters and Wanted posters pinned to cottonwood trees. Kidding. Laughter is better than crying, after all. Medical care in NM - certainly in metropolitan Albuquerque/ Santa Fe - is pretty good, thank heavens (at least for those with rather expensive insurance). Best of luck to you all in the Western Isles.

mjc from NM,USA

I had no idea the Women's Institute was running the NHS down there in the west. They are usually terriffic (poss. in the true sense of the word) at running things. You're not getting mixed up with the Guild by any chance?

Flying Cat from a crocheted doilly

Dear Arnish Lighthouse Dont worry. Donald has great plans for barbecuing some of these people at next year's fank. He has worked out that in the poor light of early spring no one - especially with drink in them - will be able to tell the difference between a hog roast and a hag roast and with a bit of subtle spicing people will not realise they have just eaten theHealth Executive. We are still casting about for an appropriate wine if anyone has a suggestion

calumannabel from Bay of Pigs Dell Fank

I'd suggest Cabernet Sauvignon Sante, Calum. Flying Cat: WI stands for Western Isles.

Arnish Lighthouse from Stornoway

*oh* I didnae ken. Mpu only imagined her 5 year stint in the 'Silly Women Running Idle' then. It's not WI in Scotland, but SWRI, Arnish.

Flying Cat from looking resigned

In the old days before BBC blogging WI stood for West Indies.

mjc from NM,USA

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