Nurse “volunteers” to work on Raasay

MICHAEL RUSSELL

Suggestions that a registered nurse would be willing to work on Raasay were being looked at by NHS Highland this week.

On the ‘Save Portree Hospital’ Facebook page a woman by the name of Fi Williams posted on 12th September that she had just returned from the island after visiting a friend.

She added: “I would love to move there myself, but due to finances and lack of suitable employment, I am unable to. It is unbelievable that there is no 24-hour nursing cover on Raasay and I for one would be most willing to relocate there and work with the community and NHS Highland to make sure that the Island had the 24 hr cover it needs. I keep an eye on the NHS vacancies for Scotland, and I have not seen any posts on Raasay advertised.”

Residents on Raasay are concerned about the withdrawal of a full-time nurse for the island Photo: Giorgio Galeotti

Last week Raasay resident Anne Gillies voiced her anger in a letter to the Free Press regarding the withdrawal of nursing cover on the island.

This week a spokesman for the health board said: “The nurse [Ms Williams] has not been in contact with us about this and we would of course be happy to discuss the matter further. However, we need to look at what is going to best in the longer term.

“The key challenge we face is how we can best meet the needs of the community while supporting staff to maintain their skills, competencies and registration. This is far from straightforward and we will continue to discuss the issue with the local community.”

In the meantime, Raasay Community Council are hoping to organise a meeting with NHS Highland at the end of September to discuss concerns about the current lack of a full-time nurse on the island.

A spokesman for the community council said: “We hope that the meeting will lead to a robust and long-lasting system to provide us with this basic level of modern health care.”