Highland Council Welcomes Change in Direction for West Highland Health Services Project
2nd December 2003
5,900 people - three quarters of all households wrote letters.
The Highland Council has warmly welcomed a decision by NHS Highland to rethink plans for future acute hospital services in the Belford Hospital, Fort William.
As a result of unprecedented representations from throughout Lochaber, the Board has agreed that the next phase of the West Highland Project will bring together a Solutions Group, which will involve key parties to agree the best possible solution for sustainable and affordable acute services for the Belford.
Local GP and Vice Convener of The Highland Council Dr Michael Foxley was asked to address the Highland NHS Board during their discussion in Inverness today (Tuesday). He suggested that the parties work together constructively to positively resolve issues.
He said: "I very much welcome the change in direction by the Highland NHS Board, who clearly recognise the strength of opposition in Lochaber to any proposed downgrading of the Belford Hospital. It is quite remarkable that 5,900 people - three-quarters of the households in the area - took the time and trouble to write to the NHS Highland Board to voice their concerns. I am also pleased that the Board noted that our Lochaber Medical Community Group have done a lot of work on consultant numbers, rotas and training.
"We are happy to work with the Highland NHS Board as well as with other agencies especially the Highland Council and Highlands and Islands Enterprise, to address these key issues which affect the Belford and will be of benefit to Wick, Oban and Stornoway. It is essential to retain 24/7 consultant led services."
He stressed that without a consultant-led service in rural hospitals, the Highlands would fail to attract inward investment and hasten depopulation and the decline of our communities. Ultimately the Scottish Executive would need to address this.
Councillor Olwyn Macdonald, Lochaber Area Convener of The Highland Council said, "I am pleased that we have moved away from sitting in judgement on options. The new approach will see closer working together to solve the problems that are facing us. I remain firm in my view that we need a 24 hour, consultant-led, acute hospital at the Belford Hospital."
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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: firstname.lastname@example.org Private message Caithness Health Action Team on Facebook Phone:07437340146 This service is confidential and by appointment..
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A candlelit vigil in support of the hospital and staff is to be held on Thursday 26th October 2017 at the hospital - bring candles or torches. Starts at 6.30pm and will not last long.
Caithness Health Action Team (CHAT) have now put the 100 Mile Helper Kits together and wil shortly be distrubiting them to Hositals and GP practices. The 100 Mile Helper kits are good to go! First batches going to hospitals today.
Rev. John Nugent the minister at St Fergus Church handed over £794 from the Wedding Dresses display by the ladies at St Fergus Church, Wick.
The ladies of St Fergus church rallied round to help Caithness Health Action Team (CHAT) with yet another fund raiser. Each year they choose a cause to support either abroad or local This year they decide to help CHAT in their efforts to stop continued reduction in local health services by NHS Highland.
Saturday 7th October 10.30am - 3.30pm Call in to see the display and support CHAT..
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