Highlands & Islands

Review offered to woman facing 560-mile round trip for operation

Surgical kit Image copyright Getty Images

A health board has offered to review the case of a patient who will make a 560-mile round trip for surgery to help treat a neurological condition.

Mary Ramsay, 60, from Inverness, has had essential tremor since she was a child and requires use of a wheelchair.

She has concerns that expenses offered by NHS Highland will not cover the costs of her and her husband's trip to Newcastle for the operation.

NHS Highland said it deals with more than 37,000 travel claims each year.

Mrs Ramsay's condition causes uncontrollable shaking.

Her situation has been highlighted by Highlands and Islands Labour MSP Rhoda Grant in an effort to get her more help.

'Treated differently'

Mrs Ramsay told BBC Radio Scotland's Kaye Adams programme that she could have the surgery at a hospital in Glasgow, but she would have to join a long waiting list for it.

NHS Highlands said it would "be happy to review" the Ramsays' case.

A spokesman said: "The board deals with over 37,000 claims for travel arrangements each year and the policy of financial assistance for travel requires adherence to two schemes.

"The two schemes that NHS Scotland assist patients with travel costs associated with attendance are: the patient travel scheme; and the Highlands and Islands patient travel scheme.

"As Mr and Mrs Ramsay are on benefits they both will receive their full travel costs as per the patient travel scheme.

"However, accommodation costs are treated differently under the Highlands and Islands patient travel scheme."

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