Lochalsh residents back Broadford for new hospital

Lochalsh community council members have voiced strong support for plans to site a new hospital for Skye and Lochalsh in Broadford.

At a meeting held with NHS Highland officials in Dornie last week, the Lochalsh residents backed Broadford — which is also the health board’s favoured location — to become home for the new hospital.

Brian Easter, secretary of Kyle Community Council, said that geographically Broadford was a central location which would serve both island and mainland com­munities.

The present MacKinnon Memorial Hospital in Broadford (pictured above) treats patients from Lochcarron and Applecross, as well as from throughout Skye, said Mr Easter.

He hoped the wider public would add their voice to the discussions.

“There wasn’t a great turnout at the meeting, as I think folk assumed it was for community councils only which wasn’t the case,” he said. “Hopefully people will make their views known, and it’s important they do before it’s too late and a decision is made.”

Mr Easter said the meeting had discussed three potential sites for a new hospital in Broadford, but a possible site in Portree did not figure in last Wednesday’s discussions.

The health board are currently staging a series of events to discuss the changes in Skye and Lochalsh hospital provision.

Although Broadford has been identified as the preferred location for a new hospital in Skye, NHS Highland insist that no final decision has been taken.

In March, a location option appraisal workshop came out in favour of Broadford as the location for a new community resource centre and hospital, and in April the NHS Highland board endorsed that recommendation.

The option favoured by the board would see a new hospital and health care “hub” built in Broadford, with a smaller “spoke” facility — which would have no in-patient beds — in Portree.

Next Thursday (24th July) a public meeting on the issue is to take place in Portree’s Tigh na Sgire.