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Thread: NHS Service in Caithness

  1. #241
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    I have no problem with the staff at Caithness General - at all. You are very fortunate that you can be treated as an out patient there, but I along with an awful lot of people that live in Caithness and Sutherland are not that fortunate. A couple of years back I was waiting for the bus in Inverness a lady asked if I could look after her 93 year old mother who was traveling back to Wick (her daughter had traveled from her home in Aberdeen to meet her mother). The lady had had to go to Raigmore for a specific eye test, they have the equipment in CGH, but nobody to operate it. I had to make sure the lady got on the Wick bus at Dunbeath, thankfully her neighbour was going to meet her. This is just one example, the lady was frail and practically blind. The journey itself was distressing enough for her. It is just not good enough.

  2. #242
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    You are absolutely right CPT it isn't good enough. On the maternity issue whilst NHS Highland are packaging this as improving patient safety I think that this down grading is something that they have been trying to do for ages. Surely though the answer to improving the safety of pregnant mums and their babies is not to by downgrading the service they get. NHS Highland continually appear to be utterly hopeless at continuity planning and supporting rural services and I would suggest needs a good clear out and overhaul. Similar issues are being faced in Fort William and it's not good enough across the board.

  3. #243
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    I am so fortunate, I am past the age for having children, if I had lived in Caithness, and been pregnant with these circumstances I would probably have lost two of my children, and possibly with one of my pregnancies lost my life as well. I cannot imagine the horror of turning up at one hospital, in labour and being sent well over a hundred miles away to another hospital. It is unthinkable. My heart absolutely goes out to the couple that lost their precious baby, certain people should be on their knees apologising for that.

  4. #244

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    Well, I've had to travel to Raigmore and Aberdeen for scans and operations as well and if I need more treatment, that will be the same again for me. My heart does go out to folk like those whom you describe. I am surprised however, that the lady was in that position as in all circumstances where I live, a friend or neighbour is happy to step in and do a run to Raigmore- and there is also a patient transport service.
    I do not expect there to be specialists in all disciplines up here and am happy to travel as I want the best care available for myself and my family. All I can say is that we have received good care at Caithness General and speak as I find.
    My heart does go out to the expectant Mums and I think it is very much an individual choice as to where you would prefer to go. It is dreadful when a baby is lost, there are no words for it. But there is not going to be all the necessary specialist maternal and paediatric care available locally for when something goes wrong as there are not enough births to justify it or specialists to come and work here. I would hope that a helicopter would always be available (as it is for head injuries and others who need to be whisked off to Aberdeen etc) but I do not know if that is the case.

  5. #245
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    From what I could gather from the lady's daughter, she valued her independence, and didn't want to put anybody out, apart from that I can't tell you.

    The expectant mothers that live here have no choice now and that is a sad state of affairs. And I hope this us very much publicised so that any young couple or family moving to this area can make an informed decision. In fact, the total lack of health care should be publicised.

    You may be happy to travel all over the place to get healthcare, but there is an awful lot of people that will not feel the same way, I certainly don't I can assure you. Every single time I want to see a Doctor, I have to travel to Raigmore, as I said, had I known the health service provided was going to deteriorate so badly over the past six years, I would not have moved here.

  6. #246
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    quote

    And I hope this us very much publicised so that any young couple or family moving to this area can make an informed decision. In fact, the total lack of health care should be publicised.



    It is the first time I have made any comment on this forum re the NHS in Caithness. The above post must surely be very off putting for anyone coming to our lovely county

  7. #247

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    Sadly, it is the same if not worse, in many other areas of the UK. If you need a particular type of treatment, you often have to go to where the specialist centre is and that is quite often in a hospital some distance away from where you live. I am in touch with people that have the same thing as I have and they jump through far more hoops than I do- and also, often have to 'chase' things that should happen automatically and be cut and dried.
    The health service up here saved my bacon anyway- I would not be here if it had not been for them and the excellent treatment received for which I could not be more grateful- and that is all within the last 4 years- and I have lived here for 30 years.

  8. #248
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scunner View Post
    quote

    And I hope this us very much publicised so that any young couple or family moving to this area can make an informed decision. In fact, the total lack of health care should be publicised.



    It is the first time I have made any comment on this forum re the NHS in Caithness. The above post must surely be very off putting for anyone coming to our lovely county
    Lovely doesn't quite cut it when you have moved your family here lock stock and barrel, and then find out about the lack of health care available in this area. I wish I had had this information.

  9. #249
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fulmar View Post
    Sadly, it is the same if not worse, in many other areas of the UK. If you need a particular type of treatment, you often have to go to where the specialist centre is and that is quite often in a hospital some distance away from where you live. I am in touch with people that have the same thing as I have and they jump through far more hoops than I do- and also, often have to 'chase' things that should happen automatically and be cut and dried.
    The health service up here saved my bacon anyway- I would not be here if it had not been for them and the excellent treatment received for which I could not be more grateful- and that is all within the last 4 years- and I have lived here for 30 years.
    And you will find in other areas of the UK the public transport system is far superior to what we have here. I don't drive and have had to cancel appointments at Raigmore because I would not be able to get home. I would be able to get back to Thurso but would not be able to get from there to where I live as there are no buses available.

  10. #250
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    This terriable tradegy should never of happened in this day and age at a hospital.my condolunces too the baby's family.

  11. #251

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    I also would like to express my condolences to the family. Going with the figures in the NHS Highland statement it appears that 170 mothers gave birth in Caithness during 2014. The current downgrading of the maternity facility and raising of the threshold for transfer of expectant mothers to Raigmore will, after this tragedy, mean in my opinion that clinical staff will err strongly on the side of caution and recommend that the majority of mums-to-be will be persuaded to head for Raigmore. So are we looking at a figure of maybe 100 extra expectant mothers a year heading for Inverness? Is Raigmore geared up for such an invasion from the North? Living near to Raigmore does not require so much forward planning as the hospital is a short drive away when labour sets in. Could it be that not only will Raigmore have to accommodate an extra 100 expectant mums a year but they will also have to plan births more in advance requiring Far North mums to head south well in advance of Labour setting in. If so, then might this result in 'bed-blocking' in Raigmore's maternity unit on a scale never before experienced?

  12. #252

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    Quote Originally Posted by janeyj View Post
    I also would like to express my condolences to the family. Going with the figures in the NHS Highland statement it appears that 170 mothers gave birth in Caithness during 2014. The current downgrading of the maternity facility and raising of the threshold for transfer of expectant mothers to Raigmore will, after this tragedy, mean in my opinion that clinical staff will err strongly on the side of caution and recommend that the majority of mums-to-be will be persuaded to head for Raigmore. So are we looking at a figure of maybe 100 extra expectant mothers a year heading for Inverness? Is Raigmore geared up for such an invasion from the North? Living near to Raigmore does not require so much forward planning as the hospital is a short drive away when labour sets in. Could it be that not only will Raigmore have to accommodate an extra 100 expectant mums a year but they will also have to plan births more in advance requiring Far North mums to head south well in advance of Labour setting in. If so, then might this result in 'bed-blocking' in Raigmore's maternity unit on a scale never before experienced?
    The maternity unit would not suffer too drastically from bed blocking as the mums to be would be taken down in advance and be allocated rooms in Kyle court. Once baby is born with no complications for mum and baby ( no pediatric care needed ) they can be discharged back to Wick or home. The only issue would be capacity with reductions in beds on many wards this would no doubt have to be watched when factoring in the rise in numbers from Caithness.
    I have to admit from when I had my first child to my last I did notice that they were encouraging healthy mums and babies to go home as soon as possible. My first stay was almost a week, new mums with no complications are in and out in no time.

  13. #253

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    Maybe this is why Caithness & other rural area find it almost impossible to find GP's. Trainee doctors being warned off being GP's by medical schools & concultants, leaving 20% of GP training places unfilled.

    One of the major keys to solving Caithness's problem with GP's is to recognise that it is not just Caithness's problem.

    http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/1...d__GP_careers/

  14. #254

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    I see that Raigmore now has 4 wards with no, or restricted, visiting today because of the novovirus. For years now it seems to be a regular occurrence. The hospital just can't seem to ever get on top of this awful problem. Is this the fault of a reduction in personal hygiene by us, as patients and visitors, or the staff themselves? Being admitted to Raigmore fills me with fear I have to say. I suppose the bigger the hospital then the greater the risk of the virus spreading. Yet another reason to maintain services at our local hospitals would everyone agree?

    Love

    Janey

  15. #255

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    Novovirus pops up even in the smallest of hospitals. Its due to a combination of factors internal and external.
    There are many arguments to maintaining services locally however if people need to go to Raigmore for services at present they should not be afraid as I am sure the staff there will do their best to make their stay as safe as possible.

  16. #256
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    There is a simple way to combat novovirus, it's called hygene. A hospital should make that a priority both amongst staff and visitors it's as simple as washing/sterilising one's hands.
    Raimore has a long history of ward closures due to this so does that not point to things not being right?
    With regard to transfers to Raigmore it worries me, if as happened a few weeks ago The A9 was closed south of Helmsdale, the alternative route being via Altnharra, Lairg if that route was passible this would add another 2/3 hours to the journey.

  17. #257

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    Did I read in the press the other day that Raigmore is now putting it's staff through a 'How to wash your hands properly' training course?

  18. #258

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    Quote Originally Posted by janeyj View Post
    Did I read in the press the other day that Raigmore is now putting it's staff through a 'How to wash your hands properly' training course?
    they really need it, last time I was down there I observed several staff members walking past the hand hygene stations. Why are they surprised when Norovirus strikes.

  19. #259
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    the cause of these ward closures is.when i was in caithness general there was no cleaners in at the weekend and that was the maternity ward

  20. #260
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    The biggest problem is with people not washing their hands, there are facilities on entering the hospital, all visitors should use them as should staff , no contact should be made with a new patient until this has been done, it's so simple.

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