Orkney MSP Liam McArthur has secured a ministerial meeting in a bid to ensure the necessary resources are available to enable NHS Orkney to work with other health boards to tackle delays in treating isles patient.
Speaking at General Questions in Holyrood, Mr McArthur highlighted that NHS Orkney is looking to develop relationships with other health boards in order to better manage lengthy delays for patients in Orkney.
Orkney’s MSP therefore sought assurances from the Cabinet Secretary for Health, Shona Robison MSP, that “NHS Orkney will be able to redeploy the full amount of the resource which is currently paid to NHS Grampian to pay for these services.”
In response to Mr McArthur, the Cabinet Secretary said she was happy to write in detail to him and confirmed she would be “happy to sit down with Mr McArthur and discuss it.”
Following the exchange, Mr McArthur said:
“NHS Orkney have set out plans to work collaboratively with other health boards to try and tackle what it has admitted is a ‘large backlog’. These steps are welcome, but will require the board to be able to reallocate resources accordingly.
“Given that funding is already paid to NHS Grampian to deliver specialist treatment care for patients from Orkney, it is important that any move to secure some of this specialist support elsewhere is matched by a transfer in funding. I am pleased that the Health Secretary appears to share that view.
“Some of the delays experienced by isles patients with a range of conditions have been wholly unacceptable. While changes may take a little time to put into place, there can be no question of this being dragged out unduly. I will be taking up Shona Robison’s invitation to meet early in the new year to discuss how the government might support NHS Orkney’s efforts in this regard.”