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Ophthalmology Services (Repatriation to Island NHS Boards)

– in the Scottish Parliament on 12th December 2018.

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Photo of Tavish Scott Tavish Scott Liberal Democrat

13. To ask the Scottish Government what progress has been made in repatriating ophthalmology services from NHS Grampian to island NHS boards. (S5O-02681)

Photo of Jeane Freeman Jeane Freeman Scottish National Party

As Tavish Scott will know, NHS Grampian provides a visiting ophthalmology service to NHS Shetland every two months; a multidisciplinary team provides four clinical sessions over two days. Some treatments, however, require patients to travel to Aberdeen to receive their care. A meeting has been scheduled between NHS Shetland and NHS Grampian for January 2019 to discuss the provision of those services on Shetland. Actions to progress that, including whether services can be sustainably delivered on Shetland in the future and associated timelines, will be agreed at that meeting.

Photo of Tavish Scott Tavish Scott Liberal Democrat

Does the cabinet secretary recognise that there are older people in the islands in Shetland who now do not travel to Aberdeen for essential eye injections, simply because of the disruption, the travel and the difficulties for people who undertake those visits? Will she redouble the efforts to make sure that, when the meeting happens, it will make decisions to ensure that these essential services can take place on Shetland for the great benefit of those elderly people in particular?

Photo of Jeane Freeman Jeane Freeman Scottish National Party

I recognise the issues that Tavish Scott has raised and I will take a personal interest in how that meeting progresses, the actions that it agrees to and the timelines that it sets. I will ensure that Mr Scott is made aware of those.