Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

‘Saving money by forcing people on a 14-hour ferry instead of a quick flight to Aberdeen not acceptable’

Shetland MSP Tavish Scott
Shetland MSP Tavish Scott

An MSP has insisted that funding must increase for NHS Shetland rather than making cuts to patients’ travel.

The health organisation is planning to make patients travel to Aberdeen by ferry, rather than by plane, in an effort to find £4million worth of savings.

Shetland Lib Dem MSP, Tavish Scott, met Health Secretary Shona Robison yesterday to press for NHS Shetland to be properly funded, ahead of a final decision on the issue being taken on Friday, June 23.

Mr Scott highlighted concerns about the impact of the travel policy, particularly for those who would not benefit from planned exemptions.

He also stressed the importance of minimising the number of visits patients had to make to Aberdeen, particularly for brief consultation meetings, which could be done by phone or video conference.

He said: “It’s no secret NHS Shetland faces challenges as a result of under-funding from the Scottish Government.

“I know many Shetlanders are sympathetic to those challenges.

“However, an approach to saving money by forcing people on a 14-hour ferry instead of a quick flight to Aberdeen was not acceptable.

“Even worse, it is now glaringly apparent that the health board simply had not thought their proposal through.

“It’s important sensible negotiations are now taking place with Loganair over flight costs. That should have happened first.

“But the overall NHS Shetland budget is too small. There is simply not enough cash and Shetland’s health needs will only increase in the next few years.

“I want the Scottish Government to recognise health funding must increase to meet the islands’ needs.”

Shona Robison, Cabinet Secretary for Health, said: “This was a constructive meeting. NHS Shetland are currently continuing to fly all patients who request to do so. Future decisions regarding travel arrangements will continue to be clinically-led and patients for whom ferry transport is not suitable will continue to be offered air travel.

“The key is reducing unnecessary patient travel – but NHS Shetland has provided an assurance that no decision on the future transfer of patients will be taken before a further update at a public board meeting on 23 June.”

Already a subscriber? Sign in

[[title]]

[[text]]