Complaints About Further X-ray Delays

St Mary's Hospital is run by Peninsula Community Health

St Mary’s Hospital

Scilly councillors have complained again about the delays in getting more X-rays performed on the islands.

A state of the art X-ray machine was installed at St Mary’s Hospital in August 2012, but it’s only used once a week for scheduled appointments operated by a specialist who travels from the mainland.

It can’t be used in emergencies.

Chairman of the Council’s Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee, former islands’ GP Adrian Davis, said he’s “deeply concerned that we’re not getting what we should be getting.”

He said the medical and rescue helicopter callouts for such a small population is “quite staggering” and offering more services like X-rays could cut that down.

Adrian says we should be “doing better for our patients.”

The officer in charge of health matters, Aisling Hick, said trying to get local GPs trained in using the system is proving a “big nightmare.”

It involves four different agencies, including the company that runs St Mary’s Hospital, the local Health Commissioning Group and the GP surgery.

Everyone is arguing about who is in charge of it, says Aisling.

Cllr Christine Savill felt everyone needed to use some common sense.

She said professionals appeared to be worried about stepping outside their remit and the Council needed to get them talking to each other.

She wanted to highlight the economic benefits and make people off the islands realise the huge savings they could achieve by using the X-ray machine more often.

Christine added that the local community are very satisfied with the islands’ health services and the Council had to recognise that as well.

Aisling said a business case is being prepared but it’s hard to believe how long these processes take.

Many people think it’s the Council that’s being slow, she said.

Jane Hurd from Healthwatch felt the issue wasn’t a lack of attention from mainland health agencies, but a lack of awareness.

“We need to make them aware of our specific issues and come up with suggestions to overcome them,” she said.

Jane added that people on the mainland are also frustrated and they’re trying their best to resolve the problems.

But deeper issues about communication between the Council and health providers also emerged.

Adrian Davis was upset that a recent press release issued by the NHS about new optometry and pharmacy services at the islands’ health centre was issued without Council involvement.

They had asked to help write the statement.

Cllr Fran Grottick said if they couldn’t even communicate over a press release, it was difficult to see how they could move forward on other matters.