Monday, 27 March 2006

NHS problems

Tonight (Sunday 26th March), BBC1 showed an edition of the Panorama programme about problems in the NHS nationally. Those with broadband access can see the program again from the link on the page.

There is also an opportunity to leave comments about your local NHS, whether as a patient or a worker. Anyone in the catchment area for Island Blogging will have stories to tell - not just here in Lewis!

I would like to encourage anyone that works in the NHS, or those that have used the service, to leave comments on the Panorama page. It is particularly important if you have experiences related to the issues discussed on Panorama tonight.

With reference to the local situation (which I have been blogging about for the duration of Island Blogging for this area), it would appear that the financial problems faced by NHS Western Isles have some of their roots in Westminster government policies. By agreeing to big increases in pay for consultants, GP's, as well as an extra layer (NHS Direct, also known as NHS 24) of access to the service, costs were mounting. The Panorama story focused heavily on the situation in England. Whether this can be transposed letter for letter into the Scottish situation I cannot judge. It would appear to have a heavy impact on it, at the very least.

Next week's program (April 2nd) is likely to focus on the postcode lottery that is used in allocating expensive treatments. Putting it crudely, if you have the wrong postcode, you're denied treatment for certain cancers.

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