Update from Stronsay Community Council
Republished here with kind permission of The Stronsay Limpet.
As many of you will have become aware, there has been a proposed plan to implement NHS24 (111) across the 10 ferry linked islands of NHS Orkney, originally effective from 5/12/2022 (this would initially be for the winter period to end of February and then be reviewed).
This decision had been made by the NHS Orkney Board, with no prior consultation with island clinicians or community councils. The isles clinicians were informed of this decision at a meeting at the beginning of November. Our island GP’s were collectively unhappy with these proposals and involved the community council. Similar feelings were shared on all the other affected isles, and a joint (remote) meeting was convened on 7/11/22 where all 10 community councils were represented by chairs and vicechairs, as well as the 3 north isles councillors. After the initial presentation of their proposals, there were many questions posed by those present, mainly addressing their concerns around the idea.
Following this meeting, the north isles councillors thought it a good idea to convene a meeting of the community councils (without the NHS persons present) to discuss a response to this. The response to that meeting was that an open letter, addressing all our concerns, be sent to the members of the NHS Board. That letter is attached to this article.
As a result of this letter, there was another meeting held last week, again with all community councils being represented. At this meeting, the NHS board members expressed their surprise over the level of concerns, but agreed they needed to address them. Therefore, a decision was made to postpone the decision to implement NHS24 until such time as they could speak to all the isles clinicians, a process they expected would take about 3 weeks, at which time a further meeting would be convened to discuss the matter further. Once this happens, we can provide the community with a further update.
During all these meetings, we were all reminded that in the cases of an extreme (life threatening) emergency, we should always bypass usual protocol and dial 999.
Finally, I would like to make you all aware that we have Stephen Brown from the NHS Board, attending the beginning of our community council meeting next week, Monday 5th December, at 7pm, in the community hall. If anyone has any questions they wish to put to him, you are welcome to attend for this or please feel free to contact any of the community council members to put the question for you.
On behalf of the community council
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