"Scan unavailable on Skye"

About: Mackinnon Memorial Hospital / General Medicine Raigmore Hospital / General Medicine

(as other),

We live in Borve. My husband needed a scan for possible blood clot in his leg.

He had to go to Inverness for this procedure, Broadford were not doing scan that week.

Almost 5pm, arrived at Inverness, his GP app was 09:15. Car hired to take him there overnight, stay in hospital, next day scan medication.

No transport available to bring him home. Taxi to bus station then 3 hour bus ride back to Portree.

What is the point of having a hospital on the Isle of Skye if the facilities are not available? People complain about the health service and being a nurse myself for 30 years I have always defended it but the cost of the above was ridiculous.

Having said all that his care at Raigmore was very good.

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Responses

Response from Maimie Thompson, Head of Public Relations and Engagement, Chief Executive's Office, NHS Highland

picture of Maimie Thompson

Dear Monserrat

Thank you for your helpful reflections. What I really value about Patient Opinion is you get such a range of postings. It strikes me that your experience illustrates some of the good things about the care and services we provide and the real challenges we face in some areas. First I hope your husband is OK and I am glad you were happy with the care you got at Raigmore. The travel time and arrangements were probably the most practical possible when having to rely on public transport. But its never going to be ideal which is why we need to have services as local a possible where it is safe and sensible to do so.

In this case we have a vacancy for a sonographer and although actively attempting to recruit, using a variety of strategies from advertising in the professional journals to having a colleague handing out leaflets at the recent national sonography conference our efforts so far have not been successful. Unfortunately there is a UK wide shortage of sonographers and this can been more keenly felt in the north- we shall keep trying.

To prevent Broadford from losing the service completely we have our Belford sonographer (based in Fort William) travelling to Skye on average one day per week to scan routine patients. When the waiting list requires it we invest int he services of a regular locum sonographer.

If the scan is urgent and cannot wait for the next sonographer visit then patients do have to travel either to Raigmore or Belford. I am really sorry about the inconvenience and extra cost we have to make sure people get access to the services they need. If you want to get in touch please do so maimie.thompson@nhs.net

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