Increase in patients with dangerous lung condition highlighted

Shetland has seen a 23 per cent increase in patients with a dangerous lung condition over an eight year period, health figures have revealed.

The findings from NHS Scotland show the prevalence of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD, has risen from 230 in 2011/12 to 284 now.

And calls are being made by a Labour MSP for more help to be offered to those suffering from lung conditions.

Highlands and Islands member Rhoda Grant made her call as she posed for pictures in fancy dress with a representative of Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland as part of a fundraising effort.

The charity argues thousands of people across Scotland are missing out on vital supervised programmes of exercise training, health education, and breathing techniques.

It warns the NHS is missing out on “significant” savings, as a result.

Mrs Grant said: “The Scottish government has to listen. New figures show the number of people with COPD has risen sharply just in a few years. Here in the Highlands and Islands nearly 9,000 people are now living with COPD and that’s up from just over 6,600 in 2011.

“Across Scotland, a record number of people, a staggering 139,187 individuals, have been diagnosed. That’s an increase of 26 per cent since 2011. It means more people than ever before are needing support and rehabilitation to manage their condition and cope with the impact it can have on their lives.”

Ms Grant was standing alongside Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland’s communications manager Laurence Cowan, who is running his own personal fundraising campaign for people living with COPD after watching his father struggle with the condition.

Mr Cowan went to work every day this month dressed in a super-hero costume in a bid to encourage others to follow suit and raise funds for his charity, which supports people with COPD.

Donations for the charity are being sought online.


Add Your Comment
  • ian tinkler. Dr.

    • November 28th, 2019 9:36

    This is so very sad. What is especially sad is most of this disease is self-inflicted. It is time for our feeble political class to act.
    Health emphasis must be on prevention. If a fraction of the funds spent on treatment were used to encourage physical fitness and a healthy lifestyle, a huge burden would be lifted from our Health Services. It is crazy spending £ hundreds of thousands on chronic self-inflicted illness when our fitness centres cost individuals hundreds of pounds to access and are beyond the means of many!
    It may stoke controversy, but with limited funds, we must target those who try and help themselves. Smoking-related illness, obesity-related illness, alcoholism, even dental decay are all lifestyle and diet choices. Treat these conditions by all means but limited until the individuals have stopped smoking, lost weight and changed their diets. The Nanny state should stop cosseting those who will not and care not help themselves.

    • John Thomas

      • November 28th, 2019 16:39

      It is indeed time for our political class to act and Get Brexit Done!

      It is truly madness that the nanny state goes so far as to treat people with serious illnesses.
      Our beloved grandson started smoking recently, and I for one hope that should he contract a life threatening illness at some future point in his life, he will not want the nanny state to intervene and will let nature take its course. Of course, once we get Brexit done the NHS will be open to full competition from across the pond and its tendency to nanny sick people with ‘treatments’ will diminish.

    • Rosa Steppanova

      • November 28th, 2019 18:29

      Having worked in the 3rd sector for several years in general and with individuals with addiction and other mental health issues in particular, I would like to point out to your readers that an addiction is an illness and not a lifestyle choice. Mr. Tinkler’s suggestion that such individuals are treated as the undeserving ill belongs to the Victorian era and not a caring 21st century society.
      Addiction is more often than not the result of traumatic life events and the subsequent coping with them i.e. “comfort eating”, “drowning sorrows”, “escaping”. Addictions are also often coupled with other illnesses such as reactive/endemic depression where individuals barely have the energy to get out of bed or brush their teeth, let alone visit a leisure centre for exercise.
      His suggestion that medical treatment for these individuals should be “limited” will not only make their conditions worse, increase their suffering (mental/and physical), but potentially endanger their lives, lives Mr. Tinkler doesn’t seem to care much about.
      His callous attitude and complete absence of empathy are spine-chilling.

  • Peter Hamilton

    • December 2nd, 2019 16:33

    Hopefully Dr. Ian is bright enough to recognise how very sad his victim-blaming contribution is.

    Sociologists generally recognise the existence of structural violence. This is the harm done to people by the way society and the economy is structured.

    Some societies create more opportunity, more fairness and do less harm. They tax more, do a better job at looking after those in need and improve the life chances of those born into less favourable circumstances. Their citizens generally recognise this and support the approach, having been educated well enough to realise their position in society is something of a matter of the luck of who they were born to.

    If only Shetland’s apparent Nordic infatuation could provoke some interest in how Scandic states run their affairs. For the fifth richest country in the world the UK and Shetland’s level of dependence on food banks is hard to explain. Hard to explain, that is, unless we remember the uncaring and selfish kneejerk ignorance of so many of our fellow citizens and their chosen political representatives.

    Will the woeful ignorance Ian exemplifies continue to be harmful after Brexit? Yes. Sickeningly the Leave campaign has fed on, and feeds into, fear and blame.

  • ian Tinkler

    • December 3rd, 2019 13:39

    Peter Hamilton, John Thomas and Rosa SteppanovaI, I stand by all I have said. Treat the addiction primarily, but if that fails, advanced and expensive treatment is futile! Palliative medicine only, until the clinically obese lose weight, the smoker gives up, and the alcoholic abstains!
    Look to Scotland, and its devolved NHS is a joke. Nicola Sturgeon, SNP, Secretary of Health, Deputy First Minister and First Minister, claims to have invested more in the Scottish NHS, than ever before. Glasgow Health board now declared, has been placed into “special measures” due to massive failures. Seven out of the eight targets set by Sturgeon for Scotland’s NHS have failed!
    Scotland has the highest suicide rate in Europe, Edinburgh is still The Aids and drug capital of Europe, and Glasgow citizens boast the shortest lifespan in the UK.
    Parrot on about Brexit if you wish, it could hardly be worse than the Sturgeon NHS!
    Health emphasis must be on prevention. Clearly, under the SNP Sturgeon’s health regimes, NHS Scotland is failing spectacularly. Concentrat on those who can be helped and cured. Not those hell-bent on self-destruction due to uncontrollable “comfort eating”, “drowning sorrows”, “escaping” As Rosa so eloquently highlights.

  • Peter Hamilton

    • December 3rd, 2019 16:55

    Ian wants to prevent addiction illnesses by ignoring significant causes of addiction. Meanwhile he looks to ensure a cash starved NHS gets less cash after Brexit. For his next trick… oh never mind. Suffice to say it won’t be long before he is protecting the environment by slagging off environmentalists again.

  • Ian TInkler

    • December 26th, 2019 9:42

    Well, here is no surprise! Free gym membership to aid cancer survival prospects!!
    What a shame gym membership is proposed only after the diagnosis. If as I previously suggested above “It is crazy spending £ hundreds of thousands on chronic self-inflicted illness when our fitness centres cost individuals hundreds of pounds to access and are beyond the means of many!” The diagnosis of cancer would in all likelihood never have happened, if the victims had kept fit. Very sadly, sometimes in ignorance, cancer is a lifestyle choice and prevention is infinitely simpler and preferable to treatment.
    Cancer is just one of the diseases that Rosa’s “comfort eating”, “drowning sorrows”, “escaping” could have so easily been avoided by exercise and fitness.
    There is nothing so stupid as closing the stable door after the horse has bolted.

    • Wayne Conroy

      • December 28th, 2019 1:32

      Is there a cure for being close minded, old and bitter?

      • Ian TInkler

        • December 28th, 2019 11:36

        Simples Peter and Wayne, open access to all health facilities, free to all. That would save the NHS a fortune and stop you getting a butt that could bat for Germany!!!
        If I can do this approaching 70
        (Try this one to start with. )
        Jazzercise Shetland – Up North with Morwenna.
        🌟LIKE AND SHARE!!🌟
        Start 2020 strong! 💪🏻 All you need to do is like this page, share this post and comment ‘2020 fitness’ and you could win ONE MONTH OF FREE CLASSES!

  • Peter Hamilton

    • December 27th, 2019 13:37

    Would that life, as Ian seems to understand it, were actually so simple. Accessing a gym takes more than finances for many, including those with what are known as psycho-social disabilities. Carers are another group who might face hard-to navigate-barriers.

    That said, perhaps a useful discussion could follow on how easily social workers, GPs and mental health staff can get people free access to the fabulous facilities run by Shetland Recreational Trust. What efforts are, and should be, in hand to maximise participation for marginalised groups and individuals at risk of, or experiencing, social exclusion?

  • ian tinkler. Dr.

    • December 29th, 2019 12:31

    I am glad to see you agree with me Peter about access to the facilities run by Shetland Recreational Trust. There are many less expensive fitness clubs run privately on Shetland. Pilates, aerobic dance, Jazzercise, Shetland Pound, boxing and weight training clubs. All cost money to run and reasonable fees could be met or partly paid from NHS funds. The health benefits would be massive; both mental and physical health would improve dramatically.
    The NHS has to change from a disease service to a true fitness and Health service. So much money wasted on treating self-inflicted disease without dealing with the self-infliction. That is why the whole system is failing. Obesity, alcoholism, smoking, poor diet (sugar confectionery) send thousands to a painful and premature death! The solutions are obvious, not rocket science!
    Just a point of thought Shetland Vets provides a better and far prompter service than any NHS GP practice or Hospital in Shetland with the one exception of Acute Care. If your ailment is chronic in nature heaven help you!!!

  • Peter Hamilton

    • December 30th, 2019 15:32

    Austerity has increased poverty, inequality and shortened life expectancy in the UK.

    “The causes of premature death are an unhealthy diet, drinking, lack of exercise, et cetera. But the causes of the causes are the conditions in which people are born, grow, live, work and age,” explains Professor Sir Michael Marmot (UCL Epidemiology & Health).

    Adversity in childhood can have profound impacts on later life, yet the UK currently allows 1 in 5 children under five to live in poverty. This lack of social justice is a direct consequence of government policy. It will result in further cycles of ill health and intergenerational deprivation. Our social and economic arrangements limit life expectancy for the poor and traumatised.

    More progressive countries, like our Scandenavian neighbours, invest in securing fairer outcomes, and therefore limit the demands on their health services.

    Dr. Ian Tinkler’s simpleminded desire to indulge in victim blaming is ideologically driven. If he can pay a little attention to the field of social epidemiology he will realise the NHS, north or south of the boarder, doesn’t function in isolation.

    Unsurprisingly Ian’s beloved Boris Johnson is now backtracking on living wage committments made during the election campaign. Choices have consequences.

  • ian tinkler

    • January 4th, 2020 9:42

    “Unsurprisingly Ian’s beloved Boris Johnson is now backtracking on living wage committments made during the election campaign.”
    What is your problem with the truth Peter? Boris has backed the living wage since 2008, a matter of public record. He also as Mayor of London was responsible for the several increases in the London Living

  • ian tinkler. Dr.

    • January 4th, 2020 9:44

    What nonsense, Peter, life expectancy has increased in the UK, year on year, a simple fact.
    You deliberately miss-quote Michael Marmot, just your very own divisive socialist dogma. Pure nonsense, twisting pseudo-facts.
    For facts, the Scandinavian Countries have no equivalent NHS. People have to pay for health services and medicines! The system is closer to the USA (Obama care) than in the UK. Sweden sadly boasts the highest suicide rate in Europe well above that of the UK.
    Nationalist Socialism in Scotland has a horrendous record. The highest suicide rate in the UK, the highest rate of drug-related deaths in the UK. Lowest education standards (falling) in Maths and Sciences (PISA in the UK, Higher Education Sciences falling (Way behind England and Trumps USA in the world ratings) shocking statistics regarding medical training at an all-time low (undergraduate places denied due to funding shortages).
    Incidentally, I do not love Boris but what a refreshing change from Socialist and Nationalist Snowflakes, a none PC politician speaking his mind, what next!
    With regarding my comments on comprehensive health care, I suggest you read again. You are either in ignorance of what I wrote or deliberately and dishonestly misquoting.

    • Peter Hamilton

      • January 6th, 2020 15:31

      Oh dear, Ian accused me of misquoting Professor Sir Michael Marmot without showing how. The professor’s quoted comment: “The causes of premature death are an unhealthy diet, drinking, lack of exercise, et cetera. But the causes of the causes are the conditions in which people are born, grow, live, work and age,” features clearly on his university department’s webpage: 26 September 2019,

      Ian is plainly not wishing to debate the issue at hand within the terms of social epidemiology. He apparently sees dramatic improvements in public health flowing on simply from free access to sports facilities whilst Professor Marmot and I aim to show securing improvement is more complex. Simples.

      Ian’s main interest in this debate appears to be in attacking the Scottish Government whilst ignoring they have no do not have full policy remit for the various factors Professor Marmot identifies. Simples.

      The BMJ contended “Life expectancy has fallen by 6 months” on 11th March of last year :

      Ian may also ignore the finding that one third of premature deaths in England and Wales are linked to social inequality

      His “Let them attend health classes” prescription is a patronising, unrealistic and uncaring. Erm, simples.

  • David Spence

    • January 4th, 2020 15:03

    If you put our NHS under the greed orientated private sector, not only will many services be cut (to increase profits) but for many an unaffordable healthcare system will become 2 tier. 1 for those who can afford it, the other, a very much stripped down service (to maximise profits) where the healthcare will be second rate and minimum.

    This mindset of putting profits ahead of healthcare will increase the death rate of the population (which will remain silent) as drastic as this may appear, those profiting will not care at all.

    This Government is wanting to privatise the NHS, so that they can profit from it by being shareholders of the private companies taking over it. It is, regrettably, as simple an agenda as this.

    The irony of the private healthcare system is it will increase illnesses, but they will not treat them, and it will be the tax payer who will foot the bill with a second rate, uninvested, national healthcare system left to deal with those people who cannot, through not fault of their own, afford private health treatment.

    It is a moral disgrace that this Government should be acting in this way.

  • Mr ian Tinkler

    • January 6th, 2020 17:14

    Oh dear. “My comment on Boris backtracking on minimum wage commitments was true when I wrote it on 30th December but Boris did thereafter agree to raise it to £10 per hour in four years time.
    True when I wrote it!!!! No, it was not Peter Hamilton. It was based on fake news and is now proven so.

    • Peter Hamilton

      • January 7th, 2020 13:30

      Ian is plain wrong. The Queen’s Speech contained a caveat that there would be increase if economic conditions allowed. That was reported as a watering down of previous committments. That reporting was not fake news. My comment build on it before Boris made a more substantial committment.

      Perhaps Boris was playing this for maximum effect. That somehow seems more likely than Ian appologising for calling me a liar.

  • Mr ian Tinkler

    • January 6th, 2020 22:14

    Peter Hamilton, I have now read your referenced text, not justt the New York Times headline in the UCL magazine. Michael marmots actual words ” The N.H.S. focuses more resources on acute care than on preventive measures, mental health and early screening for cancer and other conditions. That, said Michael Marmot, professor of epidemiology at University College London and director of its Institute of Health Equity, reinforces a tendency to favor medical procedures over efforts to combat obesity, smoking, and drug and alcohol dependence.
    He actually agrees with my comments absolutely regarding NHS treatment protocols. Perhaps you should read the entire text, not the socialist dogma.

  • ian tinkler. Dr.

    • January 7th, 2020 11:49

    Further to the above Peter Hamilton, I have never disagreed with the problems of social exclusion for the disadvantaging the less privileged in our communities. It is clear, however, in the few short weeks since Boris was elected with a majority, he has done more to help those disadvantaged than Corbyn managed in his entire lifetime!
    Sadly, Salmond’s and Sturgeon’s, efforts have resulted in the disadvantaged of Scotland position deteriorating considerably. Salmond had other issues on his mind as did Sturgeon, sad for Scotland, Eleven years wasted.
    Regarding “The York Times article”, you quote from, referencing Michael Marmot. If you had read it, his comments “But some wonder whether it might, inadvertently, be part of the problem (The NHS). The N.H.S. focuses more resources on acute care than on preventive measures, mental health and early screening for cancer and other conditions. That said Michael Marmot”. Nota Bene “Preventative care”, Marmot agrees with me!! Also observe from that reference, “Alcohol and drug abuse, poor diet, obesity, smoking and a lack of exercise have taken their toll, increasing the risks of cancer, heart disease and diabetes. (read as Rosa’s ” i.e. “comfort eating”, “drowning sorrows”, “escaping”.

  • Stuart Hannay

    • January 9th, 2020 13:25

    Are Dr. Ian Tinkler, Mr. Ian Tinkler and plain old Ian Tinkler the same person? I think we should be told!

    • Peter Hamilton

      • January 9th, 2020 15:48

      At least one incarnation of Ian Tinker, Mr. Ian Tinkler and Ian Tinkler doesn’t know what a misquote is. Normally you’d check before accusing someone of misquoting and be able to prove it.

      You’d also expect a medical professional calling themselves Dr. to first do no harm. The same Tinkler that relishes stigmatising mental health issues also professes to be on the side of people experiencing poverty and social exclusion whilst indulging himself in blaming people for their medical issues by resorting to the tired old trope that is the “nanny state”. What nanny state? Has austerity and food banks completely passed him by?

      Yes preventative measures should be supported. No argument there. But as the Professor said, the “causes of the causes” have to be dealt with. Governments that don’t act to limit poverty cause poor public health and intergenerational deprivation. Governments that do tackle poverty and social exclusion improve public health.

      Public health has worsened under austerity. Fact. The solution is not just free access to gyms. Governments need to do more to make life fair and using the rhetoric of “nanny state” lets them off the hook and blame the victims of an inadequate welfare system.

  • ian tinkler

    • January 9th, 2020 17:11

    Same old me. Dr. courtesy title from EU!!! Mr. from RCS (Royal College of Surgeons), Ian from parents. There are a few less polite titles, mostly from SNP!!!!.

  • ian Tinkler

    • January 10th, 2020 13:22

    For those interested in a non-political view about austerity, a Pan European comment without the propaganda of Momentum our ultra socialist friends.

    Just a further point of interest. The austerity of WW2 with draconian rationing resulted in a huge improvement of public health, both morbidity and mortality. Just a fact to ponder, not a personal recommendation.
    . “rationing improved the health of British people; infant mortality declined and life expectancy rose, excluding deaths caused by hostilities.”

  • Peter Hamilton

    • January 11th, 2020 13:35

    Not sure Ian has the hang of this yet.

    Ian has mis-cited his wartime rationing quote which he got from elsewhere on Wikipedia – not that reliable a source because anyone can edit it as most school leavers could tell you, but here is his actual link:

    The ILP wouldn’t cite Wikipedia if you paid them, and as an insurance industry funded thinktank may not be quite as independent as he wishes.

    Ian doesn’t say what conclusion he draws from wartime food rationing improving public health. Bad nanny state for stepping in to save people from poverty and racketeering spivs?

    His “ultra-socialist” Momentum jibe doesn’t cut much ice unless he can link it to the Professor he wrongly accused me of misquoting.

    In any case Ian doesn’t draw any conclusion from introducing the ILP or mention anything they have said. Perhaps they just serve as backup to his baseless “propaganda” smear.

    Was his intention purely distract attention from the weakness of his previous arguments, or does he have an actual point to make?

    Ian could surely do better, but it will require him to rethink his kneejerk reactionary approach.

  • Ian TInkler

    • January 16th, 2020 12:58

    In brief, concerning peter Hamilton’s comments, Wartime Rationing did improve general health. Comfort eating, gluttony and obesity reduced.
    The “ultra-socialist” Momentum jibe” was relevant as the UCL magazine Peter references are just Socialist PR. The author is highly selective in his use of academic quotation. His puppy-like following of the Corbynite, Political Officer for UNISON, Mike Hill MP is notable. a non-partisan man, hardly!
    Now the Science, epidemiology, I will keep it simple so Peter can follow..
    Austerity was not only a Torie agenda but was also pan-European and more severe in the nations of Europe! Particularly, Greece, Italy and Spain. Now is it not strange all three countries have a better life expectancy than the UK. To even the most simple-minded, would that not suggest austerity may not be the dominant factor regarding longevity!
    Austerity was less across all Scotland due to SNP policy (Sturgeon claim) than England/Wales//Ireland. Ironic is it not, Scotland now has the lowest life expectancy, highest suicide rate, drug death rate in the UK. Just a Nationalist Government at work! or not.
    European Life expectancy.
    Greece 81.04 years. Italy 83.42 years. Spain 83.49 years UK 79.2 years

  • ian tinkler

    • January 17th, 2020 12:16

    I will reiterate my previous comments regarding our Health Services to leave no room for misunderstanding. I would advocate only palliative treatments for self-induced conditions as a result of smoking, obesity and alcoholism. All three “addictions” must be entirely under control before expensive specialist, and surgical procedures should be undertaken. Heart Bypass surgery, joint replacement and liver transplants are utterly pointless until the causative condition are controlled and curred. That alone would save the NHS £billions. If the individuals do not control their addictions, it is wholly pointless embarking on expensive treatments for conditions which are rendered thus, sadly terminal. Treating disease caused by obesity alone costs the NHS over £6 billion per annum!
    The NHS has limited funds; it would be much more sensible to save those billions squandered on the self-inflicted diseases. That funds saved should be concentrated on preventive medicine, our young, cancer victims, medical research and prevention of the addictions concerned, (e.g., overeating, alcoholism, smoking, drugs and lack of exercise.)
    I advocated physical fitness as a necessary and vital preventive measure. That would be self-evident to all but an idiot.

  • Peter Hamilton

    • January 17th, 2020 14:08

    Ian Tinkler now rubbishes the Professor he’d said agreed with him, who he’d falsely said I had misquoted.

    To recap, Ian started by blaming people for their ill health, arguing providing free sports facilities would be cheaper. His victim blaming was pointed out. The immediate causes of short life expectancy themselves have causes.

    But it is blatantly clear Ian has no interest in following the established conventions of informed discussion. His goal is to rubbish his political opponents, period, and for now I have tired of trying to point out and correct his shenanigans.

    So I will leave the last word to Professor Philip Alston, United Nations Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights who said of the UK in 2018: “Austerity could easily have spared the poor, if the political will had existed to do so. Resources were available to the Treasury at the last budget that could have transformed the situation of millions of people living in poverty, but the political choice was made to fund tax cuts for the wealthy instead.”

    • Ian Tinkler

      • January 20th, 2020 12:24

      Just another socialist academic, left-winger with such a distorted view ( Professor Philip Alston). No wonder the electorate voted Corbyn out so comprehensively.
      Peter has it ever crossed your mind, Obesity kills ten of thousands. Starvation is nearly unheard of in the Uk unless you are in a Scottish NHS hospital!!!!! Just another bit of SNP governement at work


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