Tuesday, 30 May 2006


<![CDATA[ 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. ]]>

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