Wednesday 30/11/05

Yesterday was cold, but it's a lot milder today. There was overnight rain, which clears away during the morning. The sun breaks through by late morning. A trailer load of logs is delivered to mrs B's backyard. Go out for papers at 3 pm, extending the walk to Amity House. There I find the Jotun Arctic tied up. Only the dogs are on baord. The windows of the boat were smashed in during an Atlantic storm. No sign of the crew, they may be entertained locally. This evening, there will be a public meeting at the Town Hall. The NHS Board is proposing reductions in services at the hospital, because they're £1.5 million in the red. The meeting was called because huge expenses bills are being paid to Health Board Executives who commute to and from the island every weekend by plane. Locum costs are also mushrooming - £11,000 per man per week. Mounts up, doesn't it. The Health Board stands accused of bullying and intimidation. Not very pretty picture. Darkness falls at 3.45. The meeting, attended by about 1,000 people (Stornoway's population is about 8,000) was chaired by a local councillor. It was intended to give a voice to people who were too scared to speak out internally. And it was a damning indictment of the Health Board management, I'm sorry to report.

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