The provision of 24 hour urgent care at Portree Hospital is on schedule to be fully operational by May of this year, the Lewis Ritchie Implementation Steering Group heard at its meeting in Portree on Tuesday (8 January 2019).
The meeting also heard that the Scottish Ambulance Service will recruit an additional six paramedics to be stationed at Portree Hospital over the next year.
NHS Highland and NHS 24 are working together to pilot advance nurse practitioners undertaking a dual role for both organisations in Portree and Broadford. This work is ground-breaking and not been done before, the purpose is to underpin a resilient Out-of-Hours service.
The meeting also heard that senior managers from NHS 24 will visit Skye and Glenelg in late February with NHS Highland to meet with community representatives to support the development of these proposals.
David Park, chief officer of NHS Highland’s North Highland Health and Social Care partnership, said that an options appraisal would be undertaken in a bid to find a permanent solution for Out-of-Hours urgent care on Raasay.
An action plan for recruiting and training first responders on Skye is underway by the Scottish Ambulance Service. Graham MacLeod, head of service, Highland told the meeting that it is hoped recruitment can begin at the end of March.
Graham said that SAS are developing a case, that if successful, would see the recruitment of six additional staff in Portree to have the ambulance based there operating 24/7 and see the elimination of on call in Portree in 2019/20.
The next meeting of the Ritchie Implementation Steering Group is scheduled for 12 February and will focus on the provision of community beds at Portree Hospital.