21st September 2018
Established 1872. Online since 1996.

GPs’ crisis is looming, Scott warns

Shetland MSP Tavish Scott has warned there is “barely a GP surgery in Shetland which does not face real problems”.

He was speaking in light of what he said was a nationwide shortage of doctors and called on the Scottish government to do more to support small GP clinics.

“There’s barely a GP surgery in Shetland which does not face real problems,” he said. “The Scottish government cannot keep its head in the sand on this national GP crisis any longer.

“Doctors are retiring early or going part-time leading to a major shortage.

“Primary health care in Scotland is heading towards a crisis. So that means the Scottish government needs to work with health Boards to invest in small GP surgeries. Across Shetland these provide vital services for local people, such as dispensing of medicines, emergency and palliative care and covering their own out of hours.”

At First Minister’s Questions in Holyrood last week, Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie highlighted a recruitment warning issued by the British Medical Association in Scotland which showed doctors are retiring early or going part time, leading to a major shortage. It comes as various reports show increasing pressures on local doctors due to shortages of GPs.

Mr Scott added: “It isn’t good enough to say that the current approach is working. The SNP government must act now and set out a plan to sort Scotland’s GP crisis.

“Organisations who represent doctors and other NHS staff are all saying these issues must be addressed. GP surgeries from Levenwick to Baltasound serve Shetland well. We should do everything we can to sure they can serve people in need when that care is required.”

About Adam Civico

The Shetland Times editor since October 2012. Born and bred in South Yorkshire, before moving to Shetland I was assistant editor at the Barnsley Chronicle, where my journalism career began. When not editing The Shetland Times I can be found walking or (occasionally) running, enjoying good food, or trying to find the latest Sheffield Wednesday result. Contact me with your news and views about Shetland – a.civico@shetlandtimes.co.uk, on Twitter @adamcivico or telephone 01595 746715.

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125 comments

  1. Robin Stevenson

    Nationwide shortage of GPs?…So this means “Nationwide” shortage Tavish

    Publication date: 08 February 2015

    Overall, RCGP research shows that England will need 8,000 new full time equivalent GPs by 2020, with Bexley needing an uplift of 87% over the next five years, Redbridge needing an increase of 85% and Swale needing an enhancement of 74%. Altogether, 16 areas including parts of Kent, Yorkshire, Essex, Berkshire and the Midlands, will need at least a 50% increase in GPs numbers to cope with population changes and already emerging shortages of family doctors.

    The huge increase in GP numbers required across most areas in the country – driven by the growing population – is revealed as the RCGP also publishes new research showing that on an estimated 67m occasions, in 2015, patients in England will have to wait for a week or more to see a GP or practice nurse.

    So is this the Scottish Government’s fault too then Mr Scott? And IF the SG decide to “Lie” and tell you they’ll be 50 new doctors starting three weeks next Tuesday, is this deemed acceptable for politicians to “Lie” by you and members of your party?

    Reply
    • John Tulloch

      The SNP Scottish government has been in power for 7 years and the NHS is a devolved function. 7 years is long enough for this problem to have been recognised, not least, by the First Minister who was Health Minister for several years.

      So what is the Scottish Government doing about it?

      Reply
    • Ali Inkster

      Wrobin the NHS in Scotland is fully devolved and it is the responsibility of the party in power in Hollyrood to make sure it is fit for purpose. A task that has fallen to your beloved SSnp for the past 8 years and it is a task at which they have failed (one of many). You can pleapse on about failures in England but they are an irrelevance. Fact is your beloved SSnp are only really good at blaming Westminster for their own failings.

      Reply
      • Robin Stevenson

        Both you and John have spectacularly missed the point I was making, There is a shortage of GPs “Nationwide” meaning throughout the whole of the UK, Yes there’s a shortage in Scotland, but it’s hardly the Scottish Government’s fault that it’s a “Nationwide” problem, it’s hardly their fault that fewer people decide to go into the medical profession, it’s hardly their fault that GPs are choosing to retire at 55-60, it’s hardly their fault that there is a far higher need for more GPs as people are living longer?

        The number of GPs in Scotland is the highest on record, having risen by 6.9 per cent to nearly 5,000.

        It’s a bit rich for the RCGP to be indulging in wailing and hand wringing about this, since they were the chief architects of the 2004 contract which is the main cause of the current workload and morale crisis in general practice. A secondary cause being the excessively burdensome appraisal and revalidation system pushed by the college, reported to be far more demanding than that required of hospital specialties.
        The RCGP bears much of the responsibility for the current crisis.

        Remind me again who was the Scottish government in 2004 when this contract was created?..Tavish are you there?

      • John Tulloch

        Oh, Robin, please, “Please Miss, a bad boy dun it an run away”!

        You have been in power since 2007 – 8 years, several of which Nicola Sturgeon was health minister.

        This crisis didn’t just happen last week, it’s been brewing for years and you’ve done nothing about it. Tavish Scott’s colleague may well have made a mistake, everybody does, but you’ve sat on this one for 8 years and done nothing about it. And now it’s a crisis and you’re trying to shift the blame on to him for being a minister for a junior partner in a coalition in 2004.

        Eight years, Robin, and you’ve done nothing about it!

      • Ali Inkster

        A change in tac Wrobin it is the RCGPs fault now not westminsters? The SSnp have power maybe it’s time they took responsibility.

    • Steven Jarmson

      Also, this is the first time a full-time employee of the Glasgow & Central Scotland has recognised “nationwide” as the UK, not just Glasgow & Central Scotland.
      How fickle the G&CS Party are.
      Thanks for that Robin.

      Reply
      • John Tulloch

        Gosh, it must be really “cringemakkin” for a big city professional politician to be consistently duffed up in debates wi a bunch o country bumpkins fae Shetland? 🙂

      • Robin Stevenson

        I have to say, this is rather amusing on a number of counts, firstly, I’m certainly not a politician and secondly, while all the pro-Union “usual suspects” are moaning their heads off at a lack of “Nationwide” GP’s, these same people want to leave the EU?…I mean how does that work? let’s get rid of all our European and overseas hospital staff and watch our NHS grind to a halt,….Talk about double standards?

        For Mr Inksters information the Scottish government don’t employ GP’s, they work with the RCGP, and between them, follow the best course of action, this problem has been in the UK since the late 1960’s, so let’s not pretend that it’s something new “exclusively” brought on by the SNP. I agree John “The crisis didn’t happen last week” it’s been going on for decades.

        Scotland now has highest number of GPs per head in the UK, what should we do? throw more money at the NHS? employ even MORE GPs? perhaps we could ban the third of GPs that choose early retirement only to be re-employed as locums?…Answers on a postcard would be appreciated, and we’ll pass the information onto the rUK as they’re worse off than we are.

      • JohnTulloch

        Robin,

        It isn’t to do with Westminster, the NHS is a devolved function, is it not?

        Eight years in government to acknowledge there’s a problem that you now say began in the 1960s, I wonder how long it’ll take you to find a solution?

      • Ali Inkster

        Wrobin more GPs would mean folk getting seen quicker and diagnosed sooner, meaning less treatment needed and a huge saving not just to the NHS but a huge improvement in the quality of the nations health. less folk on sickness benefits, instead employed and paying tax a huge improvement in the nations finances. So far from throwing more money at the NHS just employ more GPs and more importantly stop interfering politically in decisions that should be made on medical grounds. So yes there is a lot that could be done to improve the NHS but it won’t be done by politicians.

      • John Tulloch

        Robin, somebody else being “worse off than Scotland” is no excuse for Nicola Sturgon and Alex Neil being “asleep at the wheel” of NHS Scotland and doing nothing about the growing crisis in GP services.

      • Robin Stevenson

        Wait…”Why isn’t the Scottish Government doing much more to sort out the GP crisis by employing more GPs?”

        Followed by: ” So yes there is a lot that could be done to improve the NHS but it won’t be done by politicians”.

        So, basically, the Scottish government are being accused for NOT doing enough, but they should just keep their nose out of anything to do with the NHS?

        How on earth does that work Ali?

        The point you’re missing is that the entire NHS is under tremendous strain, but it doesn’t end with simply employing more GPs. Because people are living longer now than ever before, it’s not the case of giving someone a pill and now you’re fit to work again, our NHS is struggling to cope with the vast number of those that have already stopped working, it is naive to suggest that the problems lie with those that occasionally have to visit the doctor, our problems lie with the “long term” patients. Who need “long term” care.
        Sure, it’s great that people are living longer and sure, it’s great that we’re now able to cure many more people suffering with more and more complex issues, but these issues aren’t a one visit consultation, they are an “on going” maintenance, and as such, GPs are under more and more pressure to juggle between their “now and again” patients and their regular high maintenance patients. Nobody is “Asleep at the wheel”, we simply have to adapt.

      • Ali Inkster

        Wrobin you need to learn the difference between won’t, don’t and can’t. (along with a few other things)

  2. Gordon Harmer

    Robin, what happened to the £40 million that was promised last November by the SNP government to help GPs. Why has Shona Robinson held this money back in a year when there is another multi million pound under spend by the same government who according to John Swinney would not be the party to under spend.

    Reply
    • Robin Stevenson

      Gordon the £40 Million was given to the RCGP by Alex Neil back in November 2014, so I’m not sure what your point is?

      Reply
      • Gordon Harmer

        Not at all Robin it was promised from the governments primary care development fund and Willie Rennie asked Shona Robinson where the £40 million was last week. Robinson’s fudged reply was she will announce details of the £40 million very soon. Which begs the question how do you know more about this cash than Shona Robinson?

  3. Ali Inkster

    And as an aside Scotland is mainly rural so will probably always had more GPs per head than other areas.

    Reply
  4. John Tulloch

    From above: “Doctors are retiring early or going part-time leading to a major shortage.”

    Why?

    Reply
    • Robin Stevenson

      A far more pertinent question John, “Why” indeed?..

      Perhaps it’s because they can afford to?
      Perhaps it’s because they can take early retirement [with the full knowledge as there is a shortage of GPs] that they could do locum work for six months of the year and holiday/golf/garden for the other six months?
      Perhaps it’s because of their workload, stress and bureaucracy?

      But my personal opinion would more likely be, that there is very little incentive to work beyond 55, [IF you can afford it] a change in a GPs pension set-up seems to make it “less” attractive to continue to work on.

      For example, one GP states :

      “Under Hutton’s “reforms” this will leave remaining scheme members having to pay still higher contributions, thus encouraging more to leave. It’s a real mess, and has totally destroyed the stability that is essential for long term pension planning. If you wanted to destabilise the NHS this is a great tactic”.

      Reply
      • John Tulloch

        The reason I asked the question straight was to avoid making politics of what would appear to be one of the fundamental causes of or, at least, major contributions to, the crisis.

        If the statement of your “one (anonymous) GP” may be factually correct in that doctors now pay higher pension contributions than before but if it is to be persuasive, we’d need to know who that person is. Personally, I’m sceptical about the idea that doctors (or any other workers) who find their work rewarding on a personal level would retire early in order to avoid paying higher pension contributions.

        We are fortunate in Arrochar to enjoy an excellent GP service however, even in a small village with a well-staffed practice, I know that this is a job that I could not do – and never could have done – year in, year out, without becoming seriously ill.

        You’re doubtless right that doctors retire early because “they can afford to”, and “there’s no incentive to stay on after 55”, otherwise, they would stay on.

        But buried in the heart of your, frankly, cynical analysis, I suspect, lies the truth.

        Doctors are retiring early, in droves, “because of their workload, stress and bureaucracy” and they can’t get out the door quickly enough.

      • Robin Stevenson

        Jeez John, that was almost a civilised discussion there, are you alright? [well up to the cynical part]
        The “one” Doctor was just “one” example of what many were saying, which I managed to find on their “Pulse” website:

        http://www.pulsetoday.co.uk/home/finance-and-practice-life-news/tens-of-thousands-of-gps-on-brink-of-early-retirement-bma-finds/20006182.article#.VYwD5RtVhHw

        It’s worth scrolling down and reading other GPs comments.

      • John Tulloch

        They’re not retiring from jobs they love because of higher pension contributions, are they?

        Is it true that GP funding has been cut by 4 percent since 2008/9?

        Why, when by your own admission, the present crisis has been growing for many years?

        Were not Nicola Sturgeon and Alex Neil “asleep at the wheel” – at best – when they implemented the cuts?

  5. iantinkler

    As a former independent principle, working under contract (Self Employed) to Shetland Health Board, I was forced to leave service to the NHS as a direct result of funds, promised by Secretary of Health, then Nicola Sturgeon, being miraculously and inexplicably becoming unavailable, once the SNP had won an election. It is a matter of record Sturgeon promised funds for Shetland to expand the Montfield clinic by six (I believe ) surgeries. The object being to provide a much needed replacement of Alan Owen,s St Olaf St practise, the premises of which were becoming unusable. On DR. Owen,s retirement, four fully committed NHS Dental surgeons were available and attempted to establish a new NHS general dental practise at Montfield. Surprise, surprise the election was over, The SNP had won, all funds were no longer available. That is why today Shetland has no General Dental NHS practitioners working on Shetland. I believe it is entirely down to the withdrawal of funds, promised by Sturgeon, being withdrawn once the SNP had achieved their election goal. Carmichaels lie is triviality in comparison to Nicolas broken promise on health funds. Ask any patient with untreated and missed oral disease, Carmichael put no ones health at risk, look to oral cancer deaths to, see the potential gravity of Sturgeon’s little deceits.

    Reply
    • Robin Stevenson

      Sadly, it is much the same throughout Scotland, the NHS dentist seems to be a thing of the past, I know – in my town, – there are a half a dozen dental practices and ALL private, why is less money available for NHS dentistry, why are fewer dentist not keen [if at all] to take on NHS patients? Was it anything to do with certain practices milking £thousands and making false claims from the NHS?

      “Carmichael put no ones health at risk”?….Waken up Ian, have a look at poverty throughout Scotland, on Ali Carmichael’s watch.

      Reply
      • Gordon Harmer

        On Salmond and Sturgeon’s watch don’t you mean Robin, or did I forget the blame Westminster ploy.
        half a billion under spent over the years, refuse to use tax raising powers available refuse to use borrowing powers available and you have the audacity to mump about poverty. No other party would use the poverty of some to hoodwink the majority into believing Scotland’s poor are poor because of Westminster.

      • Wayne Conroy

        Just curious Robin… Why is it you feel the need to post on the Shetland Times website so much and turn every thread into a political discussion? Are there no newspapers in your town that you could spend your days trolling everyone on?

      • Robin Stevenson

        Wayne, could I suggest you find out what the word “Troll” means before accusing someone of it?
        Shetland is a constituency of Scotland and as such I have every right to air my views when it directly affects myself and my Country, much in the same way as I post on many other forums, much in the same way that posters from Shetland and Orkney use many other forums from many other newspapers, had you been posting on, say “The herald”, could you honestly imagine anyone being stupid enough to ask you what you’re doing here?

      • Wayne Conroy

        Robin… Thanks for your reply. There’s a big difference between a local newspaper for a small Island that has a small readership and a larger paper such as The Herald… To compare posting in one to posting in the other is just silly but I do however totally agree you have every right to post here.
        From your above statement I now realise how important you must believe Shetland to be in the national scheme of things… It’s just a shame for everyone else that you are often derailing threads into your own political discussion and disrupting normal on-topic discussion (ie. trolling). On that note I’ll end my discussion with you now before I get drawn into “feeding the troll” as so many others on here seem to have fallen foul to.

      • Robin Stevenson

        Wayne, Thanks for your permission to post here,..phew!!
        The “Herald was used as an example, however like the Shetland Times/News my local news paper with a small readership is also subjected to posters “outwith” our constituency, do you suggest I ask them their motives?
        If by “derailing threads” you mean correcting certain misinformation espoused by others, then I’m guilty as charged, however, it would seem that the term “troll” is lost on you. You seem to have taken us “off topic” does this then mean you too should be regarded as a “troll” by your odd definition?

        If you regard Debate/argument/discussion as “Trolling” then I’d imagine most people on these threads are equally guilty.

  6. Johan Adamson

    We used to have GPS that spent all their time working, now we have a lot of part time working. I suppose if you’ve chosen to work in rural practices you have already made that lifestyle choice, and it is better for family life.

    There used to be Saturday and evening surgeries, not that long ago. I noted that BBC breakfast one day discussed 24/7 GP cover for England. We kinda had this before, and it was much better? We dont need 24/7, just maybe what we had. Are they admitting that NHS24 doesnt work?

    Reply
  7. iantinkler

    Robin Stevenson, please stop trotting out tripe., Shetland lost its Dentist due to withdrawal of promised funding under Nicola Sturgeons watch as Scottish Secretary of Health. Four committed NHS practitioners were left with nowhere to work. Two are now practising in England, I had no choice but to work privately as no position was available on Shetland . Two of our lost NHS practitioners are now working in England, in the NHS , I work in a thriving private practise set up entirely with private funding. Shetland still has no independent NHS practitioners, before SNP control, we never had less than three. Strange is it not we have a battery of non clinic administrators on five figure plus salaries are achieving the worst patient services Shetland has ever known. That is the fact a devolved SNP health service, entirely a result of political meddling by an ignorant or non caring central control, is the worst Shetland has known for decades. This all stems from Sturgeon’s spell as Secretary of Health, and her withdrawal of promised funding, not Westminster funding, Scottish funding no doubt wasted on high value political white elephants, which are a total embarrassment to Scotland, Aberdeen Dental Hospital being a good example..

    Reply
    • Bee Beckett

      Silly me Mr Tinkler, I actually thought the Scottish Dental Access Initiative (SDAI) by the Scottish Government was available to Shetland as well.
      As far as I know the SDAI was introduced in 1997 to help establish new NHS dental practices in the whole of Scotland, was extended in 2007 and the responsibility for approving applications devolved to the Health Boards. Since August 2014 this financial assistance has been designated only to areas where access to general dental service availability is poor i.e. Orkney and Shetland. How come Orkney has managed to provide a totally adequate and enviable dental service for the population under the current Scottish Government? Orkney enjoys a dental service which we in Shetland can only dream of. Three newly established independent NHS committed Dental Practices open and running accepting NHS patients, even inviting patients to register, no waiting lists, open from 8 am to 8 pm, patients are being seen promptly and two free check-ups a year. Three High Street practices offering their services, 14 dentists to choose from and all of them look after NHS patients. This now leaves the 13 dentists working for the NHS Public Dental Service (PDS) to look after the specialist services and all the emergency cover. How truly wonderful.

      Reply
      • Brian Smith

        It sounds as if Mr Tinkler doesn’t know anything about the administration or politics of dentistry.

  8. John Tulloch

    Why has the Bixter GP practice not been advertised before offering it to other, distant practices?

    Reply
    • Johan Adamson

      To save money

      Reply
  9. Ali Inkster
  10. JohnTulloch

    How is the swallowing up of the Bixter GP practice by another practice remote from patients going to save money without the service on offer to patients becoming less effective?

    Reply
    • Johan Adamson

      They will benefit from economies of scale and I imagine the doctors will be employed, rather than self employed and practice running, presumably cheaper? Bixter also runs a dispensary which will supplement the income of the practice.

      Reply
      • John Tulloch

        I thiught there was supposed to be difficulty in getting doctors to move to Shetland?

        Why would a doctor want to work for somebody else in Scalloway when they. Could have their own practice – with a dispensary – at Bixter?

      • Johan Adamson

        Yes, I would say it reduces the possibility of retaining doctors because it must be more long term to run your own practice. But in this world of saving money then we have to recruit multiple times and stress out the other staff and the patients instead, because there is no continuity, there is no long service reward any more. The cost of this is not counted in the financial equation – maybe the way we count things like this needs to change. Bixter always traditionally had long term doctors, Dr Shimmon (I think the spelling is wrong) and then Dr MacFarlane both stayed there a long time.

  11. iantinkler

    Simples Bee Beckett, you are not talking about Shetland, your comments are not relevant for Shetland in any way whatsoever. Monies promised for dental services in Shetland (Sturgeon ) were withdrawn and used elsewhere. The simple fact is there is no NHS committed Dental Practices in Shetland whatsoever. . Now to look after the specialist services and all the emergency cover. On Shetland that is nearly nearly zero, for contract workers, holiday makers, and offshore workers (Thousands of people), nothing whatsoever is available. All good on Orkney, but as far as I am aware nothing to do with Sturgeons promises, the ones not honored for Shetland. As for the politics of dentistry, I am a clinical hands on Dental surgeon, I would not touch the administrative, toady political sycophant service with a barge pole, does that answer your comments Brian.

    Reply
    • Bee Beckett

      With respect Mr Tinkler the comments I made were very relevant to Shetland. It is probably just that you did not notice the subtlety of the criticism I was directing at the Management and Board of NHS Shetland for the very poor dental service they are providing to the public in the year 2015 (!) despite available Scottish Government initiatives.
      Sorry for digressing from “GP’s crisis is looming”.

      Reply
      • Robert Sim

        You see, Bee, it’s all the fault of the Scottish Government, whatever the issue. Local councils/Health Boards have no say in the matter.

    • John Tulloch

      Going on figures provided by Mr Kinniburgh, NHS Shetland chair, before the General Election, NHS Shetland has been “short-changed” (Tavish Scott’s description) in terms of Scottish government funding by, at least, £2mpa since 2010 (and before, actually).

      That under-funding has now been addressed but NHS Shetland is, at least, £10 million out of pocket for the last five years.

      Reply
  12. David Spence

    If the vile Tories get their way, and due to Shetland isolation and small population, what Health Service and Dentistry Service we receive will be either a) Extortionately expensive (the selfish greedy private sector) and half the quality of what the NHS provided or b) A vastly trimmed down version of what the NHS provided with the option (forced to) of using the private sector if you are unhappy with what the NHS provides.

    This is, regrettably, the future of our Health Service(s) in the hands of the vile Tories……profit, profit, selfishness, selfishness, greed, greed and wealth, wealth.

    Reply
  13. John Tulloch

    It does seem extraordinary – Sturgeon’s funding renege aside – that there is no NHS dentistry in Shetland while Orkney is reportedly well-served, thanks to the Scottish Dental Access Initiative?

    Maybe Shetland Charitable Trust could pay for the dentistry, there’s a lot of NHS Shetland people who are trustees there now?

    Reply
  14. iantinkler

    Bee Becket, the Board of NHS Shetland can only follow Scottish Government policy. It is the ridiculous over regulated and utterly stupid NHS Contracts with its lunatic “Regulations” that force dental surgeons and Doctors out of the NHS in Scotland. We can thank the devolved SNP Heath Secretaries for allowing that to happen. No amount of grant monies can make up for the daft Scottish system. Riddled with academic stupidities where the lunatics have truly taken over the asylum. Regulations are aggressively enforced which no other country on earth would pay lip service to. England, the USA and all Europe do not suffer such foolish “regulations” just look to how good clinical dentists are suspended for utter trivialities. A If I was still a NHS employee, just for example, writing thus would be instant suspension and dismissal, gagging orders are on every clinician’s contract, nothing to do with patient confidentiality, just to protect the system, its political administrators and managers. Ever wonder why no employee, clinical Surgeon, medical or dental ever passes comment on the NHS system. The only freedom of action is to stay quiet or quit. Sadly many are talking with their remaining free will and they leave. Unbelievably many graduate dentist are unemployed in Scotland, they simply will not work under the present system. Without overseas graduates, we would be totally stuffed.. As for David Spence’s comments, it is The SNP overseeing the Scottish Health service, it has been devolved to Edinburgh for years. It has absolutely nothing to do with the vile Tories, just a Scottish home grown fiasco.

    Reply
    • Bee Beckett

      Mr Tinkler, I very much hope that the Management and Board of NHS Shetland DO adhere to Scottish Government policy however strongly you feel about Scottish dental policy and however much you ridicule it. The 4268 dentists working for the Scottish NHS might even agree with you. You personally have opted out of the system and are free to air your opinions, fair enough. You are a dentist serving private dental patients who are willing and most of all able to pay for that treatment. NHS patients on the other hand rely on a Health Board to run a functional dental service, a Health Board who does everything in their power to serve the community’s medical and dental needs. Shetland’s “dental crisis” did not happen overnight, although with about 8.8. dentists working for the Public Dental Service (according to NHS Shetland we need about 18 dentists) the situation is more than critical and must be pretty stressful for the staff. NHS Shetland always tell us how difficult it is to recruit dentists to the island, but when one looks back over the last few years at the dozens of dentists who were attracted to work here one can see that it might be more of a retention problem and it does beg the question why. The comparison with Orkney’s dental service just served to show that it is possible to deliver an excellent NHS dental service, a service I personally would be grateful for.

      Reply
      • iantinkler

        Bee, sadly, Shetland sees the result of Scottish Government policy, no General Dental practitioners at all! The Management and Board of NHS Shetland can not be blamed for this. Within their remit of the salaried dental service they do an admiral job considering the very trying circumstances. No General Dental practitioners, very much the achievement of SNP control, never happened before Salmond / Sturgeon and the health dictates. Read below to see perhaps why.

  15. Vivienne Rendall

    My daughter and her husband lives in Shetland, so I am well aware that Shetland urgently needs GPs. I try to help. Whenever I have to see a doctor at our local practice I ask them if they would like to live and work in Shetland, I point out the benefits, but so far no takers I’m afraid.
    Vivienne Rendall,
    HALTWHISTLE,
    Northumberland.

    Reply
  16. iantinkler

    Robert Sim, Bee Becket, your observations please. With regard to SNP over regulation in the “Dental Contract” a single example. Any general service NHS dental surgeon in registering an NHS patient has that patient on his “list” for his working life. Short of criminal assault by that patient, on the dentist or his staff, that patient is on that list, period. If that patient refuses treatment, fails appointments, it makes not one iota of difference. The dental health of that patent is the responsibility of that dental surgeon. Responsibilities include 24 / 7 emergency cover, (day and night, seven days a week, all bank holidays). There are no exceptions whatsoever. Having in a multiple practice (several dentists) that commitment can be shared, in a single handed (one surgeon practise) it literally means being bonded 24/7 to your list patients, no single handed dentist will ever set up alone under such a contract. None ever will if they value any kind of private life. On Orkney several GDPs (General Dental Practitioners) share emergency cover. On Shetland none in general services exist. The present patient list bound contract was set up by the SNP in an attempt to massage the figures and make it appear that the population of Scotland were well covered, previously a non-attendant patient could be removed from a dental list. Any dentist whom does not follow these regulations will be suspended, fined and may be removed from the NHS list, thus effectively bankrupted. Bearing in mind an NHS practice, (building, equipment, staff etc.) is entirely funded less l grants by the dentist concerned (average cost £400,000). Wonder why we have no dentists on Shetland, all this happened under Sturgeon watch as Secretary of Health, if my memory serves well. That is just one of literally hundreds of contract regulations, it has nothing whatsoever to do with patient health, it was a political ploy to make patient registration figures look better. Previous to this regulation non attending patients were automatically removed from dental lists.

    Reply
  17. David Spence

    Ian, you say the state of the Scottish Health Care and Dentistry is totally devolved to the Scottish Parliament, and nothing whatsoever to do with Westminster. I beg to differ.

    Who, in the political sphere, is responsible for allocating funds to Scotland and any State run Service(s) within Scotland? I would hazard a guess that it would be the vile Tories under the Barnett Formula, and I highly suspect these figures are totally under the control of Westminster and the present Government which is in power.

    If Westminster has ultimate control on what funds are allocated to Scotland, I would guess that the vile Tories would also have control as to how Local Authorities within Scotland operate, and whether or not the LA’s are forced into making cuts or outsourcing LA services to the private sector due to the drastic cuts the vile Tories are putting on LA’s.

    Reply
    • Gordon Harmer

      David, under the Barnett formula we in Scotland receive something like £1200 more than the rest of the UK per head of population. It is up to the SNP government how much of the Barnett formula goes to the NHS not Westminster. Why do you think that the SNP have opted to keep the Barnett formula over and above having full fiscal stupidity? Because they know when and where they are better off. You should replace your worn out catch phrase and stick the vile word in front of the SNP where it belongs.

      Reply
      • James Watt

        I’d say David is quite right to voice his opinion of the Tories as vile, just as you are quite right to voice your opinion of the SNP as vile, everyone is entitled to an opinion.

        All I would add is, was it the SNP or the Tories who implemented these vile cuts to disibility benifits, hurting those who needed help most. And if this is what happens in a coalition where the Lib Dems were apparently restraining the Tories what can we expect in the next five years?

        http://www.newstatesman.com/politics/2015/04/disability-audit-eight-coalition-policies-have-hit-disabled-people

  18. iantinkler

    Beg to differ David Spence, however the facts are clear to anyone, devolved to Scotland, a matter of fact. Blame Westminster, the SNP clarion call when the SNP cock up! Heating it rather often now.

    Reply
  19. iantinkler

    An interesting point to ponder. Funds frozen out of General Primary NHS care were no doubt funneled into political opportunist and prestigious projects such as The School of Medicine and Dentistry – University of Aberdeen. All grist to the SNP propaganda machine. No doubt, every academic and piffling regulation, in Bee Beckett’s reference to Scottish Government policy was adhered to in minutia. What a shame the regulations did not cover such thing as actually doing correct treatments on patients. Patients damaged, wrong teeth filled, the general Dental Council found standards of treatment appalling, immediate closure of this multi-million pound SNP white elephant was considered. I list a few incidents (Between January and March 2014, the School identified a cluster of nine adverse events, all involving different students with no particular pattern in relation to the supervising staff member. Several incidents occurred while students were performing Endodontic procedures, and included Endodontic perforations; over-preparation of teeth; treatment of a wrong tooth; damage to teeth adjacent to those being prepared and tissue damage by sodium hypochlorite.) http://www.gdc-uk.org/Dentalprofessionals/Education/SiteAssets/Lists/Courses/EditForm/Aberdeen%20BDS%20inspection%20report%202014%20-%20final%20with%20observations.pdf
    This is a product of over regulation linked to political interference, all part of “Scottish Government policy,” no doubt.

    Reply
  20. iantinkler

    Just what is the SNP doing to Scotland’s health service? Not only in Shetland’s primary care decimated, but just look at a few recent headlines. Sturgeons fully devolved Scottish NHS is killing people, wake up Shetland, just look at the facts. This Scottish health service is an utter disgrace. Just how long can we be blinded by SNP spin. Carmichael! look what we are being blinded to.
    A children’s ward at St John’s Hospital in Livingston is to close. (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-edinburgh-east-fife-33339333)Call for the closure of Aberdeen Dental School saying it was “time to pull the plug” on the flagship campus. (https://www.pressandjournal.co.uk/fp/news/aberdeen/510379/call-shut-aberdeen-dental-school-senior-figure-scottish-dentistry/) NHS starving OAP for 36 hours ‘led to her death’ A scathing report by the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman has now backed their claims of sub-standard care, criticising both hospitals for her “unreasonable” and “antiquated” treatment. (http://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/news/health/nhs-starving-oap-for-36-hours-led-to-her-death-1-3610879)
    Royal College of Nursing (RCN) said its review of 35 inspections suggested there had been a failure to improve the quality of elderly care (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-31836272)
    Just a few of so many independent reports. All since Sturgeon was Secretary of Health for Scotland and the Salmond Sturgeon leadership!!

    Reply
    • Robin Stevenson

      Ian, perhaps if you didn’t rabbit on quite so much with your [more than obvious] anti-SNP rhetoric, people would actually take your comments seriously? However posting half truths do your case or your credibility NO good whatsoever.
      St John’s hospital are struggling to get the right staff, like so many other places there is a shortage of GPs, not just in Scotland, who incidentally, have more GPs than anywhere in the UK per head of population, but there is STILL a shortage. Had you read the full article you’d have read:
      “Non-residual care, such as day surgery, will continue. There will be no change to maternity and neonatal services at the hospital.
      The Scottish government said the closure, from Friday, was temporary, [six weeks] There was a similar closure three years ago due to staffing problems, and in June 2013 an expert team suggested replacing the ward with a short-stay unit to assess patients and refer them on”.

      Closing Aberdeen Dental school closure was “suggested” by Mr Drummond who is a senior lecturer of dentistry at both Glasgow and Dundee, who said that it had “Never been a success”, why on earth is the the SNPs fault??… Did you even read the article?

      The poor lady was “Not starved to death” either Ian? Why o why don’t you read the articles all the way through, instead of posting OTT headlines?

      Your last gripe of the 35 inspections, who do you think introduced the HIS in the first place?

      Reply
      • iatinkler

        Pots and Kettles Robin. SNP Health Service! great at the red tape, surveys, rhetoric and assorted centralized clap trap endless regulations and bureaucracy. Pity the actual clinicians are so neglected, so typical of a band of lawyers, political self servers and nationalists running the show. With regard to Scottish NHS services, just look to what primary care we have on Shetland, enough said. quod erat demonstrandum.

      • Robin Stevenson

        Ian why don’t you save yourself a lot of typing by just saying what you really mean [regardless of how good they are] “SNP Baaaad”…”Nicola Baaaad”….”Alex Salmond Baaaad”….Yawn/

      • James Watt

        @ Ian, listen to the link I’ve provided in the reply bellow. From 2h 10m you hear a doctor speak about the problems facing the NHS in Scotland, you should listen you might educate yourself a bit, it might even put a stop to you posting all this of ill informed rubbish.

      • Bee Beckett

        Well said. Quod erat faciendum.

    • James Watt

      The children’s ward in Livingston that is to close, isn’t closing, it’s stopping admissions that would require overnight care for 6 weeks. Coincidentally the doctor that had to make this decision was on radio Scotland this morning talking about their understaffing problems, made some pretty frank comments about where he thinks the problems lie.

      From about 2h 10m
      http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b060btc1#auto

      Reply
      • John Tulloch

        James,

        I’ve listened to your link.

        1. Did not precisely the same temporary closure occur before, in 2012?

        2. Is not the Scottish government ultimately responsible for NHS Scotland’s failures?

        3. Has not the SNP been in power since 2007?

        4. What has been done since 2012 to prevent this recurrence?

  21. Gordon Harmer

    I sagest Robin and James both read this link from a Scottish news outlet and maybe, just maybe they would quit the bluff and bluster and listen to Ian.
    http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/health/warning-about-pressure-on-staff-at-nhs-24-x.119637405

    Reply
    • Robin Stevenson

      Our response to Ian is neither “Bluff” or “Bluster”..It is merely “Correction”, much like your own link I don’t imagine for one minute that you took the time to scroll down and read the comments Gordon? Comments that correct the article. While I certainly regard the Herald as one of the very few quality newspapers left in the UK, sadly, some of their columnists don’t always get it right.

      “NHS 24 was a response to the disaster Labour made in negotiating the new GP contracts. Then the contract negotiations over the out of hours service”.
      This article tells us nothing about NHS Scotland, which Professor Crooks himself describes in terms which totally contradict Marra’s half-witted hyperbole. What it tells us is that British Labour in Scotland cares nothing for the harm that it might do to our health services, or the insult to NHS staff. They care only about finding some stick with which to beat the Scottish Government. And if there is no stick, they’ll go to any lengths to try and make one.

      The link you produced was form March and was obviously Labour media push material. Subtle as a brick.

      Reply
      • iatinkler

        Robin, do I detect a new slant, not Westminster but now Labors fault, a change is as good as a rest they say.
        Still just am SNP cock up that we have to live with..

      • Robin Stevenson

        Ian, you are obviously forgetting that Labour “Are” Westminster, same as the Tories same as the Lib/Dems. they are ALL a part of the same “establishment” that choose to centralise and retain power in the safety of their mothership, it really doesn’t matter if it’s Labour, Tory or Lib/Dems, they are ALL one and the same and will take their orders from their bosses in London.

      • Ali Inkster

        Wrobin you seem to be forgetting that Labour, Tories, Lib Dems and your beloved SSnp are Brussels, they are all part of the same establishment that choose to centralise and retain power in the safety of their own mother ship. It really doesn’t matter is it’s Labour, Tories, Lib Dems or the SSnp they all take their orders from their bosses in Brussels. BETTER AFF CLEAR O DA LOT O DEM.

      • John Tulloch

        I suppose that’s why Holyrood is centralising everything – “da aald cock craas an da young een lairns!”

      • Gordon Harmer

        Shifting sands Robin! Build Utopia on rhetoric, untruths and deceit and the foundations will start to crack. A sticking plaster over the wounds will not solve the problem of inept and Baaaad SNP government.

    • James Watt

      It’s funny that you accuse others of bluff and bluster then say we should listen to ian.

      All your talk of a SNP underspend was nothing other than bluf and bluster, anyone with a basic understanding of accountancy and the ability to do a google search would have been able to see you were blowing hot air.
      And as for Ian, he can’t even report the contents of the links he provides accurately, yet you expect us to take his word on the NHS as gospel, I’m sorry Gordon but I’d rather take the word of a doctor involved in the decision making process than some keyboard warrior who thinks he’s going to save Shetland from the evils of the SNP.

      As I have said in reply to others, nobody is denying that services in Scotland are under stress, and their is no doubt that the SNP haven’t found the best solution for every problem. The fact still remains, there are factors the SNP has no control over that are adding to the problems facing the NHS, and it’s a problem all over the UK, and the globe.
      Maybe you should listen to the doctors comments then come back and explain to me how he is also full of bluff and bluster.

      Reply
      • iatinkler

        James , “the SNP haven’t found the best solution for every problem”, your words. Now prey tell me have they found a half decent solution to any problem? The endless bleat of it’s all Westminster’s fault is wearing a bit thin.

      • iantinkler

        James Watt, ” ’I am sorry Gordon but I’d rather take the word of a doctor involved in the decision making process” , your words James watt, now whom are you referring, which doctor. Can you name him, does he actually practice or is he or she just another SNP mouthpiece. ” Decision making process”, does that not say it all! how about someone actually treating people.

      • James Watt

        Ian, had you listened to the link I provided you would have heard that he is still a practicing doctor, he was also the doctor who made the decision to close the children’s ward in Livingston to overnight admissions.

        The link has been up to 2 days now and you still haven’t listened to it, why is that Ian, are you scared of what you’d hear, does it frighten you to think a practicing doctor might blow your “SNP bad” mantra out of the water?

      • Gordon Harmer

        James and Robin, the Scottish NHS is in meltdown and your bluff and bluster will not convince anyone everything is OK. How about some bluff and bluster to explain why an agency doctor was paid more than £19,000 for a week’s work by NHS Western Isles.
        The consultant psychiatrist did 40 working hours and provided 128 hours on call while a member of staff was off sick and their colleague was on leave.
        The health board has revealed the cost from 2013 in a freedom of information request.
        It said agency staff were only used when there were no other options to provide cover.
        A spokesman said the need to hire the locum consultant came at a time when a member of staff was on a period of extended sickness absence.
        The spokesman added: “A consultant psychiatrist was hired from an agency to cover one week’s annual leave for the remaining consultant.
        “The locum consultant undertook 40 normal working hours and provided 128 hours on call for which the cost to the board was £19,305.22. This figure is the gross total paid to the agency and includes 20% VAT.”
        Record number
        NHS Western Isles said its spending on temporary agency consultants rose from £452,000 in 2012 to £1.2m in 2014.

      • James Watt

        Gordon, I will ask you again.
        Can you explain to me why the doctors comments from the link I provided to Thursday mornings “Good morning Scotland” on BBC radio Scotland are also bluff and bluster.

      • Gordon Harmer

        Probably because he is an SNP supporter James, either that or he is totally oblivious to what is happening in Scotland.

      • Gordon Harmer

        On this thread we have highlighted the problems NHS Scotland is having recruiting Doctors and Surgeons for posts.
        Shona Robinson is very eager to announce how well the SNP are doing despite all the evidence to the contrary, but you never hear why they are having such problems filling these positions.
        It wouldn’t for one second have anything to do with highly paid and much needed professionals being wary of moving to country that has a single agenda government hellbent on independence which will ultimately mean taxing high rate earners or putting government paid snoopers on their children.
        Why on earth would any health professionals wish to move to a country that has no long term stability, wants to tax you to death and snoop on your private life.

      • James Watt

        So in other words Gordon, no you can’t explain how his comments are bluff and bluster so will instead try to write him of as an SNP supporter despite the fact you know absolutely nothing about him or his political allegiances.
        Well done, that’s taking bluf and bluster to a new level Gordon.

      • Robin Stevenson

        A very interesting theory Gordon, you said:

        “Why on earth would any health professionals wish to move to a country that has no long term stability, wants to tax you to death and snoop on your private life”.

        So what does this say about the rUK? does the rUK have no long term stability or want to tax you to death and snoop on your private life then? And IF not, then why are they far worse off than Scotland in terms of GP shortages?

        Hmm…Looks like your theory is about as nonsensical as half of Mr Tinklers comments?

      • Gordon Harmer

        So no change from Robin, instead of answers we get the same old rhetoric, bluff and bluster.

  22. iantinkler

    James and Robin. I have done 40 years as a GDP in the NHS, mostly on Shetland. I and many of my clinical colleagues, are sadly leaving that service. Are you too blinkered or stupid to ask yourselves why? Just what has changed in the Scottish NHS over the last few years? O yes, SNP leadership, absolutely everything else has remained the same, it is just idiotic dictates from the very top. Not Westminster but Edinburgh, dictates. SNP left in charge of a devolved service and look at the result. I think some of the Salmond Sturgeon plans are coming home to roost, what do you think is happening, let’s have your informed, knowledgeable and experienced viewpoints. That is if you actually qualify to have any, which you can justify beyond raw political prejudice.

    Reply
    • James Watt

      Ian, you can’t report the content of links you provided accurately. If you cant read then accurately relay the contents of a BBC story about a children’s ward stopping overnight admissions for 6 weeks, then you can’t be surprised when everything else you write is dismissed as bluff and bluster.
      Would like to hear your comments on the link I provided to the doctor speaking on the radio, maybe you can tell me how he is also to blinkered or stupid to see everything is really all the SNPs fault.

      Reply
      • iantinkler

        James Watt, your doctor speaking, who is he and what qualification has he? I was so bored by the non referenced unscientific twaddle I sadly dismissed it as no more than political PR. Radio journalism at its typical worst, about as relevant to sensible argument as the endless traffic updates in your referenced program. Scotland’s NHS under SNP control, more simple facts for you.
        South Glasgow University Hospital, Ministers ordered specialists in after it emerged the £842m South Glasgow University Hospital due to dreadful performance. http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/scottish-news/experts-drafted-tackle-dreadful-ae-5892412
        A children’s ward at St John’s Hospital in Livingston is to close to in-patients over the summer because of staff shortages. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-edinburgh-east-fife-33339333
        Probe launched following death of three infants at Yorkhill HEART operations have been suspended at Glasgow’s new children’s hospital following the death of three infants. http://www.heraldscotland.com/…/heart-operations-suspended-at-new-children.Several incidents occurred while students were performing Endodontic procedures, and included Endodontic perforations; over-preparation of teeth;; damage to teeth adjacent to those being prepared and tissue damage by sodium hypochlorite.) http://www.gdc-uk.org/Dentalprofessionals/Education/SiteAssets/Lists/Courses/EditForm/Aberdeen%20BDS%20inspection%20report%202014%20-%20final%20with%20observations.pdf

      • James Watt

        “James Watt, your doctor speaking, who is he and what qualification has he? I was so bored by the non referenced unscientific twaddle I sadly dismissed it as no more than political PR.”

        You’re not very good at this are you Ian, it’s the same doctor from the BBC News article you linked to when you lied about the St Johns hospital children’s ward clossing.
        Had you listened to my link properly, or listened at all, you would know he is Dr Edward Doyle and he is the Associate Medical Director for women’s and children’s services at NHS Lothian.
        Now if you wouldn’t mind listen the the man again since you know his name and that he is suitably qualified, if you could suffer the boredom just long to actualy process the unscientific twaddle and let everyone know why he’s wrong and you know more than he does about the pressures on the NHS.

    • Robin Stevenson

      Ian, IF you’re going to post links for your argument, it may be a good idea to actually read them first? You prove your own point:

      “John Drummond, a former president of the British Dental Association, said the Aberdeen school had “never been a success” and was aiding an OVERSUPPLY of dentists in Scotland.
      Mr Drummond spoke out as figures show one in 10 graduate dentists are unable to get jobs after finishing their vocational training year.

      Drummond said: “In Scotland, it is clear we are overproducing dentists significantly”.
      “We are heading for significant unemployment and underemployment”.

      “Opening a new dental school in Aberdeen has simply compounded the problem.
      The new school, with only 20 graduates per year, has never been a success and has sucked human and financial resource from Scotland’s two viable dental schools: Dundee and Glasgow”.

      Which part of this are you struggling to grasp Ian????

      Reply
      • iantinkler

        Robin Stevenson, food for thought, if that is within your gift, “it is clear we are overproducing dentists significantly”. Now just why then do you think we are short of NHS clinical GDPs in Scotland, especially Shetland? That is actually down to the NHS terms of employment (Dental contract), inflicted on the profession by Secretary of Health, Scotland (Nicola Sturgeon) under the care of First Minister (Salmond). Very few dentists, given any choice whatsoever, will work under such an authoritative and unpleasant system. SNP central control out of control. Is that too hard for you to understand, Robin?

      • Robin Stevenson

        Ian, you’ve just changed your argument? First of all you bang on about “Why are the really bad a nasty SNP closing down the Aberdeen dental school?” Then once that’s been proven that the decision wasn’t even the SNPs idea, you then go on to… “Aaah..it’s because of the SNPs authoritative and unpleasant system that’s putting dentists off”,…We seem to be going round in circles here and regardless of how many of your daft wee scarey stories are knocked on the head, you just want to keep telling us how bad the SNP are, whether they’re to blame or not….”SNP BaaaD” I take it?

  23. iantinkler

    How come Robin Stevenson, when logical argument is beyond you , you repeatable trip out ” “SNP Baaaad”…”Nicola Baaaad”….”Alex Salmond Baaaad “? In a previous life were you perhaps an Orwellian sheep or is that your true function now ?

    Reply
    • iantinkler

      “Ian, you’ve just changed your argument? First of all you bang on about “Why are the really bad a nasty SNP closing down the Aberdeen dental school?” Robin Stevenson, making up porkies again, I made no such statement nor inference. Try the truth one day, give us all a surprise.

      Reply
  24. David Spence

    Ian, I would like to ask, if you know, is Westminster responsible for allocating funds to Scotland, and is the Barnett Formula a fixed amount or is this amount adjustable by the Government?

    I take your point Gordon, is regards to the people of Scotland getting more funds/per head. However, given Scotland’s geographical circumstance and a more spread out/isolated population, it is understandable, to a degree, why this figure is higher. In respect to funds received and given, I believe Scotland gives much more to Westminster than what it receives????

    My question : Is the funds related to the Barnett Formula controlled and varied by the Government or is this figure agreed by all party’s within Parliament before being allocated????

    Reply
    • Gordon Harmer

      If what you say is correct David why has Sturgeon changed her manifesto promise that Scotland would push for Full Fiscal Stupidity to we will have Full Fiscal Stupidity in a few years when the time is right? If Scotland gives more than it receives she would go for Full fiscal Stupidity now would she not.

      Reply
  25. Gordon Harmer

    Robin and James are giving it large to others about links, well you two here is a link both of you and every nationalist in Scotland should read and digest.
    http://www.scotsman.com/news/brian-wilson-opportunities-not-opportunism-1-3821347

    Reply
    • Robin Stevenson

      LOL…Brian Wilson…Pleeeeaaase!!!…Let me remind you of what must have been written on your school report card Gordon, “Must try harder”. 😉

      Reply
      • Gordon Harmer

        So just like above Robin, no answers, you did the same when I last used a link to a Brian Wilson article, the truth hurts does it not. Like so many of your comments, when you are are cornered you either move on or dismiss it with little pop at the commentator.

      • iantinkler

        Robin Stevenson, make some effort to get your facts right. “Ian, you’ve just changed your argument? First of all you bang on about “Why are the really bad a nasty SNP closing down the Aberdeen dental school?” This is pure Jibber, I never stated nor inferred that the SNP were closing down the Aberdeen dental school. Do not insult everyone’s intelligence, Robin, by intentionally falsifying facts to try and justify your prejudices. school report card Robin, “Must be more honest”

  26. iantinkler

    End of story, under SNP, fully devolved control the Scottish NHS is a national disgrace, heart breaking and horrible. Rather like education and energy policy, but that is another story.

    Reply
  27. iantinkler

    James Watt, Thank you for that information, that is truly priceless. “Dr Edward Doyle and he is the Associate Medical Director for women’s and children’s services at NHS Lothian.”. This man is not a clinician, he is a Health service administrator, a mouthpiece for the system. The SNP system which is clearly failing. Most of these “Administrators” are political appointments and little more, their very careers depend on towing the line and not rocking the boat. Now could you find me a link from a real Doctor, a clinician, not an administrator, of course not, they are all subject to NHS gagging contracts.

    Reply
    • Brian Smith

      Lads, can you please stop this utterly tedious discussion.

      Reply
    • James Watt

      Once again a BritNat plays the man rather than the ball, can you give any example of why his comments are inaccurate. Because until you can I will take the good doctors word ahead of yours.

      Reply
  28. iantinkler

    James Watt “the good doctors” is actually not registered as a medical practitioner by the General Medical Council. I am sure he is a worthy, able man and a good administrator, and certainly an important part of the PR system, but a practicing medical doctor he is not. ref : http://www.gmc-uk.org/doctors/register/LRMP.asp

    Reply
    • James Watt

      You still can’t show how what he says is inaccurate though can you?
      I think its pretty safe to say that of the two of you, Dr Edward Doyle is by far and away the more qualified and knowledgeable person on the subject in discussion and until you can show how his comments on the NHS are inaccurate, only a fool would take the retired dentist from Shetlands opinion above that of the “administrator” who actually works in NHS and has to make difficult decisions like closing a children’s ward to overnight admissions for six weeks.

      Reply
      • John Tulloch

        I didn’t actually hear him say what the SCottish Government had done to prevent recurrence of the 2012 closure that he also mentioned – funny, you didn’t mention that?

      • iatinkler

        James Watt, just try and get a few very, very simple facts on board.
        1/. due to miss management and poor administrative the children,s hospital has to close a vital ward, leaving sick children at considerable risk.
        2/. This is the second time in three years.
        3/. With decent management and competent administration that should never happen, Dr. Doyle is the responsible administrator for this ward. He is also PR spokesperson here and indirectly represents The Secretary of Health for Scotland whom is his ultimate boss.
        4/. The ultimate responsibility is with the SG and the Secretary of Health (SNP). These are all simple facts, indisputable and are all in the public domain.
        5/. As a matter of fact I am not retired but actually working. I never retired from the Health Service. Shetland Health Board lacked funds to rebuild surgery premises which were rendered unsuitable due to changing NHS regulations, the SNP (Sturgeon) reneging on promised funding. An SNP election pledge!!. I had no choice but to work privately although I did offer my services to the NHS, they had no suitable surgery!!!. You do not need to take my word for anything, all of the above is common knowledge, in the public domain and well documented. Which of the above is beyond your comprehension?

      • Bee Beckett

        Mr Tinkler, regarding point 5 of your response. I am sorry but I cannot find any documentation in the public domain about reneged funding in Shetland, could you please tell me where I would find it? This is the only thing I have been able to find:

        08/03/2012 , by Shetland Times
        Dental service in isles is full of problems, response to draft strategy claims:

        “Private dentist Ian Tinkler, who left the Alan Owen practice to join the Dental Shetland practice in the Toll Clock Shopping Centre when the Owen practice was taken over by the NHS, said ……. Mr Tinkler said he had considered remaining with the Owen practice and working for the NHS but had disliked the 44-page contract that he would have had to sign and the “gagging order” terms that would have meant he could not publicly discuss the dental service or NHS board which NHS staff are currently bound by.

        All this – be it as it may – does not really solve Shetland’s looming GPs crisis or Shetland’s existing dental crisis. While I appreciate you having an opinion on a wide range of politics and you are of course free to voice it, I would be interested to know if you have any ideas on how to solve the dental crisis in order to improve the dental health of the island’s population?

      • James Watt

        “You do not need to take my word for anything, all of the above is common knowledge, in the public domain and well documented. Which of the above is beyond your comprehension?”

        First of all I will apologise for my comments about you being retired, I’ve misinterpreted what you meant when talking about leaving the NHS.
        Points 1 and 2 are inaccurate because the children’s ward isn’t closing, and children aren’t being put at risk, the rest of the hospital is still able to handle admissions that will require overnight care, point 3 is irrelevant because their isn’t a closure and lives aren’t at risk. Point 4 brings us back to the doctors comments in his radio interview which are that the government has done more than enough to help finance and incentivise the employment of more doctors but there are factors out with the control of any Scottish or UK government that makes attracting doctors to permanent positions difficult.

      • John Tullochj

        Then you are confirming the SG’s failure to avert a recurrence of the 2012 closure. Thank you for that.

  29. Haydn Gear

    We all know how squabbles keep EastEnders and Corrie on the television . May I suggest that all due attention be given to the lengthy and sometimes ill tempered exchanges between various correspondents to these columns? All that remains to be found is an imaginative director , preferably economical with the truth , capable of travelling whichever way the wind is blowing and prone to excessive bias. No need for professional actors —-they already exist and are more or less permanently glued to their computers! Time for them to enjoy a break from wallowing in NHS ,SNP etc tribulations and points scoring.

    Reply
    • Martin Tregonning

      Although I don’t watch them myself, I am led to believe that both programs have the occassional murder and sometimes major disasters which kill off a lot of the protagonists in one go …….

      Reply
  30. iantinkler

    You ask what i would do to improve the service, ditch the SNP with its facale NHS contracts and regulations. Full island autonomy as a Crown Dependency and go for the same service as Norway or Germany. Patients to be responsible for their own health using insurance for all but the poorest.
    Bee, As for public Domain, I advise you to try google advanced search, here is a starter to work from. (took me 2 minutes to find):
    https://www.shetlink.com/index.php?/topic/5961-alan-owen-dentists/
    http://www.shetnews.co.uk/news/3936-dental-crisis-averted
    http://www.shetnews.co.uk/archive/search?q=++dental&Itemid=313

    Reply
  31. iantinkler

    We truly have a problem with the Scottish NHS. Downhill fast ever since the divine Nicola started running the show. Secretary of Health then First Minister, downhill all the way. Whatever next?

    Cancer patients are being moved back to the Beatson unit from the new Glasgow hospital after a problem was discovered with the air quality. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-glasgow-west-33434808

    Government trouble-shooters are being sent to Scotland’s newest hospital to help improve accident and emergency (A&E) waiting times. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-glasgow-west-33147592

    Reply
  32. iantinkler

    All since SNP had control, free prescription bribe, the rest is rubbish.
    A body representing health professionals in Scotland has said major changes are needed to address “systemic failures” in the NHS. Poor leadership from senior staff, Poor leadership from NHS boards, Staff shortages, Poor staff morale, incompetent Scottish Government in charge.
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-33460023

    Reply
    • iantinkler

      Cat got your tongue James? James Watt, I am not alone in my opinions. Most sane medics would agree with me.
      All since SNP had control, free prescription bribe, the rest is rubbish.
      A body representing health professionals in Scotland has said major changes are needed to address “systemic failures” in the NHS. Poor leadership from senior staff, Poor leadership from NHS boards, Staff shortages, Poor staff morale, incompetent Scottish Government in charge.
      http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-33460023

      Reply
      • John Tulloch

        “Game, set and match to Tinkler!”

    • James Watt

      What on earth are you two on about, one of you is barking at the moon as usual, and the other seems to think that has achieved something. I hope you both have a very happy future together in whatever it is you feel you are achieving.

      Reply
  33. iantinkler

    John, it is a bit “like shooting fish in a barrel”, after 8 years of miss management the SNP incompetent central control of the devolved NHS problems are coming home to roost. No longer can the blame Westminster, this a Holyrood home grown disaster in the making. Rather obvious to anyone on Shetland whom may need a doctor or dentist. Rather obvious to anyone with half a brain whom works clinically in the health Service, very sad if you are a patient. Sadly our recently centralised police force is showing every sign of going the same way. The Nationalists have one overriding aim “Independence” and centralised power, everything else is just a tactical manoeuvre or ploy to gain that end, and now their incompetence is beginning to show. I just wonder what the next major cock up will be. The UK is flourishing, sadly most of Scotland is not, wait for the SNP predictable lament, “that is Westminster’s fault and all that prejudicial reporting by the mainstream media and the BBC.”

    Reply
    • Robin Stevenson

      Congratulations Ian, that’s got to be the first thing you’ve uttered that actually makes sense. 🙂

      “that is Westminster’s fault and all that prejudicial reporting by the mainstream media and the BBC.”

      Took you long enough but at least it’s beginning to sink in, psst…Any chance you could you pass on your new found enlightenment to yer buddies?

      Reply
      • iatinkler

        What a predictable response from Robin. Keep it up, Westminster and the BBC will be there for a long time yet, a generation or so. That is according to Alex, as for the EU, that may be another story. Shetland for a Crown dependency. Whoop, whoop, well away from the tacky embrace of Nicola and her mind police.

      • John Tulloch

        Robin, if being a “professional debater” is your “day job”, do give it up – nobody’s going to pay you for stuff like that!

      • Steven Jarmson

        What’s title do you hold within the SNP Robin?
        And how much does it pay?

        I take it SNP policy is, “its only true if its Westminster bad and Hollywood good.”

        Objectivity is surely a strength in politics, rather than blinkered dogma.

      • Robin Stevenson

        Well, I must say “professional debater” is most complimentary, and certainly a step up from a “Troll” as someone accused me of last week. I find it rather strange that anyone defending the Scottish Government or the SNP are automatically accused of working for them? I simply agree with their politics [right now], there is NO other party in Scotland that comes remotely close, the mistruths and propaganda spread by posters on this forum, generally deserve to be knocked on the head, “Do I get paid”? I wish, do you Steven?

      • Ali Inkster

        Oh it’s a little bit more than agreeing with their policies Wrobin. It is spouting them verbatim on here and spending most if not all of each day doing so. Also for someone who is not in the SSnp you have the same aversion as the rest of them to discussing topics of relevance to Shetland, ie THE FISHING. You would rather cover any subject even paedophilia than talk about the SSnps record on the fishing. But then you are also reluctant to discuss the SSnps record on pedos too.

  34. Gordon Harmer

    The new Queen Elizabeth University Hospital is an interesting example of where nationalist priorities lie. For a “movement” that vehemently claims it wants to protect the NHS and have the health and well-being of Scots at heart, where does their concern set its parameters?
    Is it in lessening waiting times for people who are awaiting diagnoses, operations or scans?
    Is it in alleviating A&E waiting times, or procedure, or cancer treatment times, while the Scottish Government starve millions of pounds of funding to not only hospitals, but schools and public services?
    Is it in improving the staff crisis within the NHS in Scotland, while the Scottish Government “manage” the entire Health Service on a day-by-day basis and ensure that the diligence and hard work of front-line health workers is in vain as the Scottish NHS fails on almost every measure?
    Is it in hospitals with massively pressurised staff, under strict instruction to meet the Scottish Government’s policy of target culture, while inspectorates have found that poor levels of cleanliness in Scottish hospitals is now symptomatic of a “nationwide complex problem”?
    Is it in acknowledging a £31 million spend in Scotland’s NHS on Paracetamol prescription charges, while Children’s’ wards are closed down for the second time in the same hospital?
    No. Their priority lies in raising 10,000 signatures to rename the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, because they dislike the Queen. This is their priority in the NHS, as it collapses in disrepair all around us because of the appalling mismanagement at the hands of their “glorious leaders”, while their stranglehold on funding and recruitment grows ever tighter.

    Reply

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