League Of Friends Profile Higher Than Ever
13th December 2003
Jenny Spence and her fellow fundraisers find themselves at the forefront of a growing campaign to retain services in the Caithness General Hospital. From a small fund-raising group normally donating items to the hospital they find themselves rocketing towards national status as they galvanise local groups and support into one campaign to retain and improve services at their local hospital.
This small group of ladies has in a very few weeks lifted the campaign to heights previously unknown taking with them politicians local and national, a huge range of voluntary groups and the general public, galvanising the pent up anger from previous investigations into their campaign.
With a zero budget (they have refused all monetary assistance) they have depended on community spirit and determination to drive the campaign forward. Few campaigns have risen so quickly and with so much involvement at public meetings.
These ladies have read the mood correctly and taken appropriate action swiftly and with purpose. They are ordinary wives, mothers and grandmothers. The establishment perhaps needs to seriously consider not just the mumbo jumbo of risk assessment, financial management but the human factors before they come to any decision on the long term future of services like Maternity in the far north.
Experts have been proven wrong on many other topics - and mothers instincts often proved correct in the face of medical opinion. to a great extent we are not talking about clinical factors - it is about the will to provide quality services in rural areas.
The League of Friends has seen the Writing On The Wall for the hospital and perhaps for more wide ranging consequences to follow. A cornered mother in the wild often fights back and it should be remembered they often bite back. An organised group of them look even more frightening.
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..
Maureen and Gordon Doull from Wick have celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary at Mackays Hotel and asked their guests to make donations to Caithness Health Action Team (CHAT) as they are so concerned at what is happening to health services in Caithness. The couple handed over a £750 to Bill Fernie, chairman of CHAT and founder member Councillor Nicola Sinclair.
Caithness Health Action Team (CHAT) has gathered 2,410 postcards from members of the public protesting the centralisation of health services under NHS Highland. The postcards carry the slogan ‘100 miles too far' in reference to the 100 mile journey patients frequently have to travel to receive basic care.
The Convener of The Highland Council's Caithness Area Committee, Councillor David Flear, has joined the call for health bosses to consider upgrading maternity services at Caithness General Hospital. Councillor Flear intends raising the matter at the next Area Committee meeting on Monday 15 September and expects to send a firmly worded response to the Highland Acute Hospitals NHS Trust, who are currently reviewing maternity services provided in Wick as part of a Scotland-wide review.
7:00am, 8:00am, 9:00am - possibly throughout the day George Bruce Interviews on Moray Firth Radio News 12:00 Noon Demonstration Begins At Caithness General Hospital 12:01pm Toot Your Horn Campaign Begins Motorist are being asked to toot their horns as they pass the demonstration at Caithness General 12:05pm Professor Calder Team Arrives Wick Airport 12:15pm Press Conference At Wick Airport 12:40pm Professor Calder Team Arrival Expected Caithness General 1:00pm Council Press Conference At Wick Town Hall Area Convenor David Flear will lead the press conference with Jenny Spence, League of Friends, Jamie Stone MSP. George Bruce, Caithness & North Sutherland Health Forum and two mothers.
The visit of Professor Andrew Calder to Wick on Monday 15 December had a big profile as it gained mentions on Moray Firth Radio, BBC Radio Scotland, BBC Scotland Television News. Repeat mentions on several news broadcasts are ensuring the issue is highlighted.
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