NHS Highland has confirmed that it is set to lose its last interventionist radiologist at the end of the summer.
At a board meeting yesterday members were advised that due to a resignation and a staff member retiring and the failure to recruit the service may have to resort to locums to cover the role of doctors trained in radiology and minimally invasive procedures.
Medical Director Dr Rod Harvey underlined the importance of getting new staff describing it as “an absolutely core service for the hospital, that supports a number of other core activities.”
“It is potentially of great concern that we find each other with an interventionist radiologist by the end of the summer.”
According to Dr Hadley efforts would be made would made to recruit with at least two people from abroad but they did not look like a short term option.
The next would be to find short term locums through agencies though this was a concern due to the expense involved.
Such are the concerns that Edward Mountain MSP questioned the Scottish Health Secretary Shona Robison on the matter.
He asked: “Will the Cabinet Secretary guarantee a replacement intervention radiologist will be in place at Raigmore before the current one leaves?”
Ms Robison said: “Patients within NHS Highland, as in anywhere in Scotland, will continue to get those services.”
A “Strategic Risk Register” held nine risks with a permitted maximum of ten, one of those risks being the radiology staff shortage.