A WESTERN Isles MP has backed the community after the NHS closed a dental clinic on Uist.
Na h-Eileanan an Iar SNP Angus Brendan MacNeil said people on the island are extremely angry following the closure of Lochboisdale Dental Clinic. He is urging NHS Western Isles to listen to the community.
Mr MacNeil said: ‘It is extremely disappointing to see NHS Western Isles has taken this step to close Lochboisdale Dental Clinic.
‘Dental patients will now have to make a 60-mile round trip to see a dentist. This will be very difficult for many people, particularly those who depend on public transport.
‘People in Uist are extremely disappointed and angry. Instead of reducing services, NHS Western Isles must listen to communities.’
A spokesman for NHS Western Isles said the decision was made because the building could not have met modern required standards, even if it was refurbished.
‘The plan was to create a second surgery which involved internal significant remodelling,’ the spokesman said.
‘Unfortunately, the advanced planning for this highlighted substantial problems with the building. The planned work therefore could not proceed on the advice of our experts and those funds were reassigned to the clinic in Tarbert, Isle of Harris, which was at that time was in unsatisfactory temporary accommodation.
‘Further work on Lochboisdale was therefore halted pending a full review of dental service delivery in the Uists, as investment and modernisation had also been planned for the Uist and Barra Hospital.
‘The risk associated with the building has now, following further assessment, passed the point of being assessed as manageable.
‘The Uist and Barra Hospital has proved much more protracted than hoped, delaying investment in our Uist dental services.’