MSP delighted that Skye patients could receive an interim dialysis service in Broadford Hospital

Regional Labour MSP Rhoda Grant is delighted to see “light at the end of tunnel” for five kidney dialysis patients who are being forced to travel from Lochalsh to Raigmore Hospital in Inverness for treatment.
NHS Highland has said their preferred option is now to provide an interim dialysis service in the current Broadford Hospital.
It comes after Mrs Grant put pressure on the health service for this critical service to be brought to Skye after she learned in October last year that five patients are having to travel from Lochalsh to Inverness three times a week to undergo dialysis.
NHS Highland has now said a preferred option is to create an interim dialysis service in the day room of the current Broadford Hospital until the new Broadford Hospital is open to where it will be transferred.
Mrs Grant is going to contact the Chief Executive to ask when the service could start in the current Broadford Hospital.
She said: “This is fantastic news for the patients who have to endure a 160 mile return journey, three times a week for treatment in Raigmore Hospital. It will finally feel as if there is a light at the end of the tunnel as the journey must be long and exhausting. I am grateful to NHS Highland for looking into this and for moving forward on this issue.”
Mrs Grant continued: “I understand health professionals are looking into where current activities that are being run could be relocated to before they can provide a dialysis service but I will be asking NHS Highland to keep me updated on this.”
When a patient’s kidneys fail, dialysis treatment keeps the body in balance by removing waste, salt and extra water to prevent them from building up in the body.

Highlands MSP asks Scottish Government to support vulnerable ferry passengers.

Highlands and Islands MSP Rhoda Grant has asked the Scottish Government to provide support for people with health concerns or mobility issues by allowing them to bring escorts on ferry trips free of charge.

Currently EU regulations stipulate that escorts can be carried free of charge if the ferry provider has requested that they are present, but Ms Grant wants the support to be offered for vulnerable passengers as standard.

Ms Grant said: “I have a number of constituents, particularly those in the islands, who are required to travel to the mainland for medical treatment which is not provided in their home area. As well as having to cope with side-effects from treatments, such as chemotherapy and operations, many of these constituents may require support for anxiety, depression or to face possible diagnoses while visiting mainland clinics.

“In addition there are a number of constituents with mobility issues, permanent and temporary, who would feel great relief at being able to travel with an escort that they trust, without having to bear the extra financial burden.

“With many NHS boards now refusing or unable to financially support escort travel I feel strongly that it would provide an invaluable service to vulnerable passengers if they were able to bring escorts with them at a reduced cost.

“I hope that the Scottish Government realise that such a move could provide significant support for some of the most vulnerable in our society at a marginal cost to them.”

MSP has praised RBS for adjustments made to mobile banking fleet

Regional Labour MSP is praising RBS for the steps they have taken to make their mobile banking fleet more suitable for those with disabilities.
The Equalities and Human Rights Commission have released to Mrs Grant what adaptations RBS have made to their mobile banking fleet for those with disabilities.
This includes wheelchair access will be included in the design of all new mobile banks and will be retrofitted into all existing mobile banks. The bank has also installed MyHailo into all vehicles. MyHailo is a key fob that people with a disability can carry and if pressed, it alerts staff within a close by organisation with a MyHailo reader that someone needs assistance. There has also been portable hearing loops installed, adjustments for those with visual impairment and in addition, a handrail is available.
Mrs Grant began investigating how suitable the mobile banking fleet was for those with disabilities back in January 2018. It was announced in December 2017, that 13 banks in the Highlands and Islands region would close.
Mrs Grant said: “After it was announced that RBS would close 13 branches in the Highlands and Islands, I began pressuring the bank to reconsider their decision. I also wrote to the Equality and Human Rights Commission asking them to investigate how suitable the mobile banking fleet was for those with disability and mobility issues.
“It’s encouraging to hear that RBS have taken the necessary steps for those who have disabilities or mobility problems. Obviously, this does not make up for closing the banks in the first place but I do believe that all banks – branches or mobile – should be accessible to all.
Mrs Grant continued: “I would encourage all other banks with mobile banking fleet to make the same necessary adjustments, if not already done so, to their vehicles.”

Rhoda Grant MSP Member for: Highlands and Islands
Party: Scottish Labour 26 April 2017 . Pic – Andrew Cowan/Scottish Parliament