Tiree Medical Practice Update
Apologies for the long time which has passed since our last update. Firstly, thank you to everyone for the patience and understanding you are showing with our changed service and reduction in face to face consultations. We have had so many messages and gestures of support and kind gifts it would be impossible to list them all, but thank you all.
Please don’t feel that you shouldn’t bother us with something that seems minor. We are still here for the usual everyday medical problems. We might have to deal with things a bit differently, but we will be happy to hear from you. Turning to the Covid-19 its self.
We cannot turn on the radio, pick up a newspaper or look at any of the growing number of screens in our world without seeing some worrying development or political announcement about the virus. All very important, but it doesn’t answer the question of what is happening on Tiree? Do we have the virus here? If so, how many people have it?
Because we still don’t have access to testing, we can’t prove it, but on the basis of a small but steady stream of patients developing Covid-19 type symptoms, we believe it is here.
We cannot say when testing will be available other than for the most unwell people in hospital, but we need to work on the assumption that Covid-19 is here on Tiree. Where does that leave us? Well it should leave us in no doubt that isolation and distancing measures are vitally important. Lives have probably already been saved by social distancing on Tiree, and they will continue to be in the future.
We would also like to say a few words regarding the complicated and confusing Government advice about social distancing. The “stay at home’ message is clear enough, but so much of what we are told is tailored towards those living in or near the big cities. We are told to avoid crowded parks or popular beauty spots, but how helpful is that to us here? We would suggest that the answer it to keep in mind what the guidance is intended to do. These measures are intended to keep us from being in close proximity with anyone we don’t live with. Using that measure, walking or running on an empty beach is surely fine. Cycling on a quiet road is also fine. If it takes longer than an hour to complete your walk or cycle, you have not done something terrible. If there is someone else on the beach, a distant wave is fine. We are allowed to be friendly and we are allowed to enjoy ourselves. We are lucky to have space and it’s OK to use it. We just need to maintain social distance; that’s the important bit.
As you all know, Baugh Church has been set up as a temporary ward. We hope we never need to use it, but if we do, we need to keep in mind the risks to the caring team. After much thought and bearing that nurses and doctors are becoming unwell whilst looking after Covid-19 patients, we have decided we should not have volunteers doing this work. To those who have volunteered to be carers at Baugh Church, we are very grateful. If we need help with other work which does not involve close contact with patients , we will be in touch. As this crisis unfolds, it is increasingly clear it will be a long time before things get back to normal. It is really important for us to prepare for the long run.
To all the people who are working flexibly, giving their time and showing kindness to others, the medical team would like to say thank you. It is your efforts which will make that long commitment possible.