THIS week’s look into the Greenock Telegraph archives takes us back 13 years – when vulnerable patients were forced to wrap up due to a faulty heating system at Inverclyde Royal Hospital.

Health board bosses admitted half of the hospital’s 116 rooms, containing four to six beds each, were suffering problems with temperature controls.

One source told the Tele that the heating had been a problem for ‘a number of years’, and that one woman had to get a ‘special blanket that blows warm air over the patient’.

A spokesperson for NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde said the health board was set to spend £50,000 to resolve the issue.

They added: “The comfort of our patients is of the highest priority.”

Greenock Telegraph:

Meanwhile, a popular consultant marked his retirement by travelling to India to save the eyesight of those living in poverty.

Dr Sadhu Gupta was preparing to leave the IRH after 29 years.

The eye consultant had previously made 13 trips to this homeland with a team of specialists, helping more than 2,000 in the process.

During the trip, Dr Gupta was hoping to operate on around 150 people in the town of Rudraprayag.

Greenock Telegraph:

He said: “I started the eye camps because I wanted to give something back to India.

“I’m very grateful for the sponsorship I’ve received from Gourock and Greenock Rotary Clubs and many others in the Inverclyde area.”

Elsewhere, an Inverclyde Council team scooped a top national award for their effort in providing courts with a ‘reliable community-based alternative’ to custodial sentences.

The Community Service Team were named Best Service Team (Social Care) by the Association for Public Service Excellence.

Councillor Joe McIlwee, health and social care convenor, said the team was ‘highly-respected’ by sheriffs in Greenock and that every offender placed on a community service order in 2009/10 had said it was a ‘worthwhile experience’.

Greenock Telegraph:

He added: “The service is well known for motivating offenders by providing worthwhile work placements and training while listening to the needs of local communities.

“In many cases the service has enabled communities to complete projects that otherwise would not be done.”

In other news, the face of East Hamilton Street was permanently altered as the old rail bridge was removed from the A8.

A ‘painstaking operation’ saw the bridge, which sat outside James Watt Dock, taken away overnight by a large crane.

Greenock Telegraph:

A stretch of the dual carriageway was closed from Saturday night into Sunday morning to accommodate the works.

In sport, Morton put an end to a run of losses as they held Ross County to a goalless draw at Cappielow.

The Tele reported that a young Sean Fitzharris had supporters ‘buzzing in anticipation every time he touched the ball’ after he was subbed on for the second half.

Greenock Telegraph:

Speaking after the game, Ton boss Allan Moore said: “It’s a great point and stops the rot a wee bit.

“It’s a battling point and we knew we’d have to battle against them as they’re a quality outfit and they work hard for each other.

“We’re still not playing silky soccer but you’ve got to walk before you can run and we’ve ground out a result.

"I’m pleased and the boys are pleased and I’m delighted with the effort.”