Lo­ca­tion of new hos­pi­tal for Skye comes un­der fire

The Oban Times - - News - EL­LIE FORBES eforbes@oban­times.co.uk

MSPS are set to dis­cuss a pe­ti­tion on the re­design of hos­pi­tal ser­vices on the Isle of Skye with the Scot­tish Govern­ment’s health sec­re­tary.

Holy­rood’s pub­lic pe­ti­tions com­mit­tee has agreed to write to health sec­re­tary Shona Ro­bi­son ask­ing for her re­sponse to a cri­tique, writ­ten by Pro­fes­sor Ron­ald Mac­don­ald, about NHS High­land’s lo­ca­tion plans for a new hos­pi­tal on Skye.

Broad­ford was cho­sen as the lo­ca­tion for the main ‘hub’ of health and so­cial care with Portree hav­ing a smaller ‘spoke’ fa­cil­ity.

But the de­ci­sion came un­der fire from the Portree com­mu­nity, and a pe­ti­tion was launched by Catriona Mac­Don­ald on be­half of SOS-NHS, which now has more than 4,000 sig­na­tures.

Af­ter the meet­ing, Skye MSP Kate Forbes said: ‘Pro­fes­sor Ron­ald Mac­don­ald’s cri­tique, which I’ve read, de­serves a re­sponse from the Scot­tish Gov- ern­ment and so it’s right that the pub­lic pe­ti­tions com­mit­tee have de­cided to write again to the cab­i­net sec­re­tary.’

Ms Forbes said: ‘At the last meet­ing of rep­re­sen­ta­tives from SOS-NHS and NHS High­land, I asked whether the chief con­cern was the lo­ca­tion of the new hos­pi­tal, the over­all model or the man­ner in which the con­sul­ta­tion was car­ried out. I was told un­equiv­o­cally that it was the con­sul­ta­tion it­self.

‘The key mes­sage in all of this is that when changes to ser­vices are pro­posed, it is the users, which in this case are pa­tients, who must have con­fi­dence in the de­ci­sion-mak­ing process.’

Ian Black­ford, Skye MP, has pre­vi­ously urged NHS High­land to en­sure an op­er­at­ing theatre is in­cor­po­rated into plans for the new hos­pi­tal be­ing built in Broad­ford as well as other mea­sures to ‘en­sure the high­est lev­els of care in Skye, Raasay and Wester Ross’.

He said: ‘As the MP, I do sup­port NHS High­land and their pro­pos­als to build a new hos­pi­tal in Skye but be­lieve an op­er­at­ing theatre, as in the Belford Hos­pi­tal in Fort Wil­liam, is vi­tal and there must be no ques­tion that it will be part of the new-build.

‘How­ever, I also want to see the main­te­nance of ser­vices in Portree as part of the hub and spoke model to fully serve the is­land and the ad­ja­cent main­land.’

It is ex­pected that the pub­lic pe­ti­tions com­mit­tee will make a de­ci­sion on the pe­ti­tion in the New Year.

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