Local News for Wednesday 1st August 2018

ALLAN RAISES CONCERNS OVER PATIENT ESCORT REFUSALS
Na h-Eileanan an Iar SNP MSP Alasdair Allan has invited the Chief Executive of NHS Western Isles to a roundtable event to discuss the Health Board’s system of approving NHS-funded patient escorts.
Patients travelling off-island for treatment to mainland hospitals will, in many cases, require an escort to accompany them. In March NHS Western Isles announced a new system for approving requests for NHS-funded escorts, with the Health Board’s Medical Director now making the decision where this had previously been the responsibility of the patient’s GP. While there were no changes made to the criteria for approving escorts or to the Patient Travel Policy, it appears the criteria are now being much more strictly enforced. This has resulted in the local MSP taking up a number of cases of constituents who had requests for escorts refused.

Commenting, Alasdair Allan MSP said: “I have seen a marked increase in the number of people contacting me to say the Health Board has refused their request for an escort. In many cases people were very distressed, and any compassionate person viewing their situation would understand the need for someone to be with them.
“There are a range of organisations throughout the islands who have written to the Health Board expressing similar concerns. Overall, it does feel as though the current policy is far too restrictive and that much greater flexibility can and should be shown to patients. A number of suggestions have been made about how the system could be improved, and I have written to the Chief Executive of NHS Western Isles, Gordon Jamieson, asking him to meet with interested organisations and myself to discuss these at a roundtable event. I hope he will respond positively to this request.”

LOCHHEAD STEPS UP DELIVERY CHARGES CAMPAIGN
SNP MSP Richard Lochhead has referred another 100 companies to the Advertising Standards Authority as Scots continue to be penalised by unfair delivery charges.
This is the second dossier Mr Lochhead has sent to the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) as his campaign for Fair Delivery Charges continues to receive hundreds of complaints through the Fairdeliverycharges.scot campaign website, email and social media sites. The MSP’s campaign has been exposing firms that advertise free delivery before slapping unfair surcharges because of the consumer’s location. Companies get away with claiming that parts of the Scottish Highlands are ‘offshore’, others wait until after the consumer has paid for their goods before substantially upping the price of delivery, and some even refuse point blank to deliver to certain parts of Scotland. The Committees of Advertising Practice (CAP) is now implementing its Enforcement Notice on Advertised Delivery Restrictions and Surcharges, which demands change from companies that have been highlighted by Mr Lochhead for appearing to mislead customers. Mr Lochhead has requested an update on what action CAP are taking for the minority of companies that have not complied with their demands. Commenting, Richard Lochhead MSP said: "This false advertising and discrimination against consumers and businesses in many parts of Scotland has to stop. I welcome the support I’ve received for my campaign so far, and I hope the Advertising Standards Authority takes action based on my latest dossier".

ROD STEWART TRIBUTE COMING TO STORNOWAY
Are you or someone you know a 'Hot Rod' fan? Then don't miss your opportunity to attend the one-night only Rod Stewart Tribute Night, being held on Saturday 11th August at your local Stornoway Sea Angling Club.
A representative said: ‘We have been fortunate to secure Bob Wyper, recognised as one of the best Rod Stewart Tributes, who has spent many years in show business since his earliest performances back in 1972 to become one of the most respected names around. Worldwide audiences who have seen his show often recommend it to others as Bob delivers a great performance of greatest hits in his tribute to Rod - and his show is guaranteed to entertain any party audience. The show PLUS 70's and 80's disco starts from 9pm and tickets are now available at £10 each from the Upstairs Bar at the Stornoway Sea Angling. The public is advised that tickets will be on a first-come basis.