Editorial: The Old Rock 8.5.09

Glaring errors should be highlighted

As we stated last week, people who receive NHS care in Shetland are in the main full of praise for the service. A glance at the personal advertising column of this newspaper any week and that will become obvious.

But, sadly, there are glaring exceptions to the standard offered, and The Shetland Times will continue to report these when they happen.

The statement that some are losing confidence in the health service is undeniable. This week we are told of a very similar situation to that faced by the Scalloway family highlighted in the last edition.

Happily in this case the young girl concerned appears to be making a full recovery, but things could have been very different.

Also this week we hear the dramatic story of 14-year-old Jack Pearson, who survived a rare form of brain haemorrhage and crucial operations which taxed the expertise of top surgeons. In his case it was the NHS working at its absolute best which saved Jack’s life.

As his mother Sandra says, “the NHS is a really good service when it all works well.” Like any public sector body, when things go wrong it is big news and when things go well it is hardly mentioned. That is probably the way it should be.

Conversely, however, we hear this week of a shocking case where a man died after a duty doctor apparently refused to come out at night and see him. And of a woman who fell and broke her hip and had to wait almost a day to be taken to hospital.

The petition calling for a second active ambulance in Shetland was handed over to Tavish Scott this week, and the MSP has given it his endorsement. Ambulance chiefs are due in the isles next week when the future provision will be revealed. Let us hope it is a positive outcome.


Get Latest News in Your Inbox

Join the The Shetland Times mailing list to get one daily email update at midday on what's happening in Shetland.