Na h-Eileanan an Iar SNP MSP Alasdair Allan has today written to Dr Ron Culley, Chief Officer of the Western Isles Integrated Joint Board, to outline local concerns regarding the current consultation on proposed changes to dental services in Uist. The consultation was opened towards the end of last month but the MSP has since received a number of complaints about the document.
The Integrated Joint Board have decided that their preferred model of delivery is to have a single dental service operating from Uist and Barra Hospital. This would involve the closure of the clinics in Lochmaddy and Liniclate, while the clinic in Lochboisdale was closed earlier this year. Alasdair Allan has several times raised this matter on behalf of the affected communities.
Alasdair Allan MSP commented:
“This proposal must now be subject to a public consultation before progressing further and it is important that the views of people in Uist are properly taken into account on this matter. However, concern has been expressed to me that the consultation document in its current form does not adequately allow the community to express its full and proper view on this matter.
“The document does not specify a closing date, gives no address for submissions, doesn't refer to any online alternative, and – as far as I can tell – has not been accompanied with any press release.
“However, the most worrying aspect is that it does not explicitly ask for people’s views on the dental hub proposals and instead presents them as a fait accompli, leaving only the “any further comments” section for concerned members of the public to express their views.
“I hope the IJB will take these concerns on board and consider revising the consultation document. Further, I have urged Dr Culley to confirm the dates and locations of public meetings at the earliest opportunity to maximise the opportunity for people in Uist to attend and make their views known to the IJB in person.”