FRIST Defends Accuracy Of Report Highlighting Medical Problems

St Mary's Health Centre

St Mary’s Health Centre

The campaign group FRIST has been defending the accuracy of the data used in a report highlighting travel issues faced by islanders last winter, after claiming that flight disruption caused the cancellation of surgeries at St Mary’s Health Centre.

In the bulletin sent out to members this week, FRIST claims that the Health Centre had to close on the 14th November because there were no doctors on Scilly able to provide cover. They say they were told that two GPs waiting to fly in from the mainland, one waiting to fly out and one unable to work because they’d been on duty all night.

The report has been sent to senior policy makers, including local MP Andrew George.

But that allegation has been disputed by doctors.

Lead GP, Dr John Garman says there has clearly been a miscommunication because at no point over the winter has the Health Centre offered less than a full quota of doctors due to  weather.

He says on the day in question, he and Dr Hessing were due to fly to the mainland for a course and two doctors were flying in to cover them. As there was no flying they cancelled the course and worked as normal. All surgeries ran completely as planned that day, says John, including one on St Mary’s and one on St Martin’s.

FRIST advisory group member, Marian Bennett, defended the data, telling Radio Scilly that the report is accurate and she would “swear in a court of law on it.”

Marian claims she was informed by the Health Centre on the morning in question that they would be closed, but says the problem might have subsequently been resolved. And she admits she should have followed up afterwards to verify they did stop surgeries.

She’s since informed Dr Garman that she will remove that paragraph from the report.

Marian says all the information has come from actual islanders suffering real problems, even though their names have not been released, and she says some data wasn’t included because it couldn’t be verified.

The FRIST report highlights a number of problems faced by patients this winter, including the cancellation of 27 local clinics run by visiting consultants, people being placed at the bottom of hospital waiting lists because they missed appointments on the mainland and the high cost of taxi transfers from Newquay to Treliske.

9 Responses to FRIST Defends Accuracy Of Report Highlighting Medical Problems

  1. Tony May 27, 2013 at 9:52 am

    How many times must FRIST be told that a subsidy isn’t going to happen? Not under This government.

    If FRIST really want to help then they can raise awareness of the profit making side of the IOSSCo, and how their charges are a result of profit margins increasing. That’s why the government aren’t interested, because the shareholder dividend increases by £1m each year, so the government are confused by how such a hugely profitable company can continue to operate and yet we claim that the market is failing? Uh, no, it’s a hugely successful business,

    The IOSSCo is the alpha and omega of transport issues here. They are the key to understanding and sorting out the entire picture, and any transport meeting that occurs without them is a complete and utter farce.

  2. Jeff Eastick May 26, 2013 at 12:42 pm

    The voices of reason versus Nobby Nobbs, who appears to have a personal grudge against the Steamship Co. and continues his vendetta at every opportunity. Regrettably ,in view Minister’s comments, there appears as much chance of getting an all year subsidised service as winning a million on the Prem Bonds. We all live in hope of getting both but more likely to get neither.

    • Nobby Nobbs May 26, 2013 at 2:50 pm

      I haven’t got a vendetta against the ISSco, I just have to use them.
      I’m also offering an alternative view point
      Would you prefer that we all keep out mouths shut and let things carry on the way they always have done; that’s what happened with the council and look where that got us.

      If FIRST can get a year round subsidy that lowers the cost of travel to the islands for everyone, then everyone benefits, islanders, visitors, local businesses.

  3. Nobby Nobbs May 25, 2013 at 2:30 pm

    It seems to me that if FIRST can get an all year round subsidised boat service, then not only do islanders benefit, but so do the life line of the islands, the visitors,
    The only people against such an idea I would imagine is the ISSco, as they would have to bid for the subsidy which might go to another transport provider
    Tourism is in decline in the West Country as a whole and the price of getting here doesn’t help matters

  4. Jon Mackenzie May 25, 2013 at 12:31 am

    Totally agree with Sheila and Phil. The FRIST agenda is noble but their actions from the top, in my opinion, reflect negatively on their own organisation and the islands in general. The FRIST mandate must never be confused with a Council standpoint.

  5. Sheila Thomas May 24, 2013 at 7:16 pm

    To Nobby Nobbs who hasn’t the courage to put a proper name to comments. No I do not have shares in the IOSSCo nor do I have family that are Directors, nor am I employed by them. These are personal observations and gleaned from comments made by would be visitors to our islands who’s comments were ” We would love to visit the islands but you can’t get there” a view supported by “perceived difficulties in accessing the islands” as expressed by Chris Gregory in this weeks Cornishman.

  6. Nobby Nobbs May 24, 2013 at 5:38 pm

    Do either Shelia or Phil have shares or any connection to the ISSco, e.g.: through family, directorship or employment, or are they speaking as totally independent observers?

  7. Sheila Thomas May 24, 2013 at 12:27 pm

    I think FRIST are doing the islands more harm than good with all this negative reporting. It’s time the “lead person” for FRIST worked with our only transport provider instead of knocking them all the time. The public must be confused as to whether she is talking as a member of FRIST or as a member of the Council’s transport committee she sits on, perhaps it would be better if she stood down from this committee then she would be free to comment as she likes.

    • Phil May 24, 2013 at 12:50 pm

      Totally agree with Sheila,the “lead person” is doing more harm than good, rather surprised that she even stood for council after all the previous goings on.