Challenge to SNP and Tories in Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross from Labour
15th May 2017
Candidates standing for Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross in the General Election have been challenged to spell out what action they would take to support local health campaigners if elected as an MP.
Scottish Labour's Olivia Bell said she was keen that the action part of supporting the local community wasn't lost in hot air and fine words.
"I see my challenge as particularly aimed at those candidates whose Parties currently hold the power - both at Holyrood and Westminster - so the SNP and the Tories," said Ms Bell, a first time candidate.
"Years of campaigning, both for newspapers and supporting politicians, has taught me that the easiest thing to do is to say it's a problem for another agency, in this case the health authority, and give that authority a kicking, even when it is being hit with millions of pounds worth of cuts.
"What is harder, is to acknowledge a problem, carry out research and have talks with the experts and then come up with some solutions, while continuing to speak to local campaigners.
"Those politicians currently in power have a duty to bend the ear of their governments to push for changes and more investment to get results."
Ms Bell (59) has sent her position and her support for CHAT's campaign to the group after a request from its chair Bill Fernie.
"CHAT's decision to withdraw from the Caithness Maternity and Gynaecological Group should make every politician sit up and take notice," added Ms Bell.
"It shows the strength of feeling and distrust from the community and it's hard to see how that can be bridged to begin a dialogue again."
She has also acknowledged concerns over the future of Dunbar Hospital, its staffing problems, shortage of GPs, missed hospital waiting time targets and issues over the lack of Patient Transport, especially in Sutherland, and in addition the SNP's woeful record on education.
"People are really worried that the area will be the forgotten region when it comes to health care and other services," she said.
"If elected, I would work hard to increase investment in rural health and push for more innovative programmes to be introduced, modelled and centred on the more remote areas of the region. Vital would be keeping consultants' skills up to date, while still serving patients in rural areas and finding more money for local facilities.
"I would liaise with Scottish Labour MSPs, who deal with devolved powers and have already backed a 1p increase on the basic rate of income tax to invest in public services such as the NHS, social security and education.
"The future of our health service is too important to leave in the hands of the Tories, who want to strip it and privatise it, or the SNP who want to centralise services and starve the NHS of cash so cuts have to be made year on year."
Operations had to be cancelled across NHS Highland because hospitals simply could not cope, new figures reveal. Data published by ISD Scotland shows that 45 operations were cancelled in May 2019 due to non-clinical reasons such as not having enough staff or unclean equipment.
Mikie Aitken , Quality Control Inspector for Subsea7 Wester Site ,recently won a thousand pounds for a safety award while working on the Equinor Snorre project to be given to a charity of his choice. He chose to donate to Caithness Health Action Team 100mile helper kits which are given to Caithness General Hospital , Community Maternity Unit who give the kits to local women that have to be quickly transferred to Raigmore maternity hospital in an emergency situation.
A visit of the Labour Party Leader in Scotland Richard Leonard MSP accompanied by Rhoda Grant MSP heard from the third sector and Caithness Health Action Team (CHAT) about problems arising to the community from changes to health provision and wide range of topics. Roger Saxon the local Labour party organiser and Alan Tait from Caithness Voluntary Group facilitated the meeting at the Pulteney Centre in Wick.
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A popular resource for pregnant women and their families has been updated to include the latest information on perinatal mental health support. A refreshed edition of Scotland's ‘Ready Steady Baby' publication was launched today by Minister for Public Health Joe FitzPatrick.
With respect to the new hospital at Aviemore Dr Boyd Peters said "We have been on this journey since 2012 and the land purchase is a significant step towards securing much needed modern healthcare facilities for the population of Badenoch and Strathspey" After seven years it finally reaches the planning stage so that must mean yet another two or even three years until its on the ground and working. In Caithness redesign of health services has been going on and on for several years and recently we have the early stages of a "hub" idea being promoted.
NHS Highland's annual review has been rescheduled for Tuesday 09 April 2019. It will be held in the Centre for Health Science, Inverness with Jeane Freeman, Cabinet Secretary for Health and Sport, in attendance.
Highlands and Islands Labour MSP Rhoda Grant has raised with the First Minister why the air ambulance was not initially called when a Caithness mother went into labour at 30 weeks with twins. At First Minister's Questions today, Mrs Grant told Nicola Sturgeon the woman had bravely shared her experience of giving birth under the current maternity provisions in Caithness.
Have you had problems with healthcare? Do you want to complain, but need someone to help you? Caithness Health Action Team have organised for Patient Advice and Support Service to come to Wick (am in the Norseman hotel) and Thurso (pm in the Pentland hotel) on the 17th April. Contact: email@example.com Private message Caithness Health Action Team on Facebook Phone:07437340146 This service is confidential and by appointment..
Five members of CHAT formed the delegation to meet with the health minister Shona Robison on Wednesday 7th February 2018. The team from CHAT each took different elements of health concerns in Caithness to present to those present.
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