Concern over level of health care in two north hospitals

14 August 2010


Highlands and Islands Labour MSP Peter Peacock has expressed concerns about the level of health care in two of the north's main hospitals.

His comments came after it emerged that orthopaedic consultants in one of Raigmore Hospital's busiest department have stopped working overtime, causing waiting lists to grow and national targets to be missed.

It has also emerged that seven beds are to go at the 25-bed Queen Elizabeth assessment and rehabilitation unit at Caithness General in Wick.

Commenting on the Raigmore issue Mr Peacock said, "This is very concerning.

"Huge progress was made under the last Scottish government in getting waiting times down and it is vital to maintain that progress into the future.

"The fact that some of this has been achieved by constant overtime seems unsustainable but, given that had to be paid for anyway, recruiting another surgeon must be a possibility.

"My colleagues and I will be raising this with NHS Highland."

Mr Peacock also voiced his fears about the reduction in beds at Caithness General.

He said, "It is very concerning that even before we see the LibDem Tory cuts feeding through, we are seeing reducing bed numbers at a time when the Scottish Government has had ever more money to spend.

"I will be seeking re-assurance from NHS Highland that any bed reductions will not affect the ability to deliver the services people need locally."


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