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Update on Recommendation 1 - Portree Hospital Urgent and Emergency Care

Updated: Aug 24, 2018



A good start has been made towards reaching agreement with SOS North Skye and next steps have been clearly identified. Proposed action to widen Community involvement is a high priority. There is a community expectation that 24/7 services will be provided/restored without delays even if this requires and interim arrangement pending a longer term solution.


The following actions have been reported by Ross MacKenzie from NHS Highland as taking place over the past two months:


  • Ross Mackenzie has met with representatives from SOS NHS Skye and from Portree Medical Practice and agreed next steps including options to be developed around 24/7 Urgent Care.

  • On 27 June 2018 Ross Mackenzie briefed Skye, Lochalsh and West Ross Community Planning Partnership on the project.

  • 27 June 2018 Ross Mackenzie met with Jo Ford from Skye Lochalsh Council for Voluntary Organisations to request 3rd sector involvement along with other community representatives in reviewing options.

  • Meeting 9 July 2018 chaired by Hugo van Woerden originally to look at data but useful discussion around the communities expectation of seeing action to open 24/7 imminently. Noted that key individuals were not available as we have been in peak holiday season. Also discussed was benefit of patients phoning ahead, rather than turning up at Portree Hospital when accessing the service. It was agreed that NHS 24 and SAS would be asked to support this area. It was agreed that NHSH look to replace signage in Portree Hospital to refer to “Urgent Care” as opposed to “Minor Injury”, in line with discussions with Sir Lewis. We understand that there is wider work being undertaken by Scottish Government around terminology in different sized hospitals. It may be worth exploring why use of 111 is low in Skye. Consider case for commissioned clinical leadership (nursing/medical) in Portree to provide local overview.

  • Meeting arranged by Ross Mackenzie for 16 July, including Dr Antonia Reed – NHSH Clinical Lead for OOH, and Graham MacLeod – Head of Service Highland Scottish Ambulance Service to develop initial options. Options will also be discussed with North Skye GPs and the wider community. While this approach has been agreed with community representatives, NHSH have some nervousness around this and ideally would prefer to move towards an inclusive approach, where everyone understands the problem and works towards the solutions via an options appraisal.

  • Noted the need to get dates for meetings into diaries for future meetings at an earlier stage.

  • Noted the need to have information available to describe how to access care for resident population and visitors to the area. GP Practice web sites may need updating. Dr Reed has contacted Visit Scotland and North Coast 500 with a view to making this information available. Noted that visitors account for approximately 30% of ‘drop in’ activity.

  • Review of local Know Who to Turn to is being initiated.