Green light for Highland NHS investment plan

New hospitals for Skye and Aviemore part of £48m modernisation of services

Tuesday 28th May 2019

Plans by NHS Highland to modernise health and social care services in Skye, Lochalsh, and South West Ross, as well as Badenoch & Strathspey, have been given the go ahead by the Scottish Government.  

The £48m initiative will see two new community hospitals built at Broadford on Skye and at Aviemore.

Older facilities across the region will be closed as the health board looks to streamline the way it works by ditching ‘outdated and unsuitable’ building for more modern buildings.

Iain Stewart, NHS Highland’s chief executive, said the new services would be “more stable, more sustainable and will deliver a better experience for our patients and wider communities.”

Changes on Skye include the closure of the MacKinnon Memorial Hospital building and the creation of more community bed spaces in the north of the island.

The new £20m Broadford hospital will include 24 in-patient beds, an emergency department and a community maternity unit.

Health secretary Jeane Freeman, who visited Skye and Lochalsh yesterday, said: “I have been particularly impressed with the level of commitment and drive shown by the community and their representatives working with NHS Highland and their partners to develop solutions together.

“An important next step, building on the work in North Skye is the approval of their business case for the modernisation of community and hospital services. By investing in staff, services and infrastructure – including a new Broadford Hospital – NHS Highland will be able to deliver a better and more sustainable service to the community in Skye, South West Ross and Lochalsh.

“Importantly, the development of Broadford must be taken forward while maintaining beds in Portree Hospital, until sufficient alternative provision is provided in North Skye.”

Plans for Badenoch & Strathspey will see hospitals at Grantown-on-Spey and Kingussie close down to make way for a new hub at Aviemore bringing together in-patient, ambulance and urgent care services.

Mr Stewart added: “This investment represents a major step forward for NHS services in both Skye and Badenoch & Strathspey. It supports our efforts to modernise and transform the delivery of healthcare and, in terms of our promise to improve Out-of-Hours care on Skye, it is very much in line with the recommendations of the Ritchie Report.

“We are delighted to be able to turn this vision into reality and I would like to recognise the huge contribution made by local communities, staff and partner agencies in reaching this stage.”