NHS Highland Questioned After Claims Over Patient Conditions at New Craigs

Highlands and Islands MSP, David Stewart (pictured), has asked NHS Highland’s Interim Chief Executive about claims that patients at New Craigs in Inverness have been moved into cramped conditions during the coronavirus crisis.

Mr Stewart, who is also Labour’s Shadow Public Health Minister, was contacted on Twitter this morning by a campaign group called MeTooNHSHighland.

The Tweet claimed that the psychiatric unit had moved to combine two wards into one, meaning that 20 patients were “all mingling, not two metres apart” and went on to say this also happened in the café, queueing for food and socialising.

The group also alleged that people’s temperatures were not being taken every day as the unit had run out of tests and there was a lack of protective equipment. 

They asked: “Who regulates decisions to cut care that put lives at risk?”

Mr Stewart has contacted the health authority’s Interim Chief Executive, Paul Hawkins, asking for information on the claims.

“It appears, from what I’m being told, that there are mixed messages coming from management about restrictions and protecting patients and staff,” said Mr Stewart.

“There are changes at New Craigs and concerns about patients not having visitors and not being able to go out.

“It is also being asked if patients could log in to wi-fi, to allow support and to connect with people virtually over the internet.

“I realise that NHS staff and management are busy coping with coronavirus but there are valid concerns being raised.”