Hyperbaric Treatment Services (West Coast)

General Question Time – in the Scottish Parliament at on 6 June 2024.

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Photo of Tim Eagle Tim Eagle Conservative

To ask the Scottish Government whether it has held any discussions with stakeholders regarding the future of hyperbaric treatment services on the west coast. (S6O-03541)

Photo of Jenni Minto Jenni Minto Scottish National Party

The Scottish Government is aware that the contract for national health service hyperbaric medicine services in Oban ceased on 31 March and that the chamber has not been operational for NHS patients since January. Review of the facility is on-going, and Scottish Government officials have been in contact with NHS National Services Scotland as the commissioner of those services and NHS Grampian, which provides and co-ordinates hyperbaric medical services in Scotland.

We are being kept updated as the review of the situation continues, and we have been assured that risk is minimised and that plans are in place for the timely transfer and treatment of patients.

Photo of Tim Eagle Tim Eagle Conservative

I met residents and businesses in Oban earlier this week, and I heard worrying reports that some local businesses in the aquaculture sector are considering relocating nearer to sites that have an active NHS hyperbaric chamber.

NHS Grampian confirmed to me in writing that its decision to renew the contract with Tritonia was not taken for financial reasons. Will the cabinet secretary please commit to engaging with NHS Grampian further, with a view to reinstating that vital service and protecting the aquaculture sector in Oban and its surrounding communities?

Photo of Jenni Minto Jenni Minto Scottish National Party

I recognise the description of the communities and businesses that Tim Eagle presents. As I said in my initial answer, there was a review of the service last month, and I await the outcome of that. We are engaging with NHS Grampian.