Location of new hospital for Skye comes under fire
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.