A local community organisation has confirmed to the Free Press that it has provided both personal protective equipment and medical equipment to Portree Hospital amid supply shortages.
Skye Community Response was established in March to assist vulnerable people and those isolated as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. The primary function of the service, which is run by volunteers, is to assist with food and prescription deliveries and other practical support.
However, it has been revealed this week that the community organisation has also provided PPE and medical equipment to Portree Hospital, which is being designated as a coronavirus assessment centre.
Skye Community Response chair Donnie Nicolson told the Free Press: “Skye Community Response are supporting both the community and the health care services in Skye and Lochalsh through these difficult times. We have supplied an amount of both PPE and medical equipment to Portree Hospital – the Coronavirus Assessment Centre – which they couldn’t source through their normal supply lines because of the pressure the NHS is under. NHS Highland are aware of this.”
The Free Press contacted NHS Highland for comment regarding the community’s provision of PPE equipment to Portree Hospital. A spokesperson said: “We really appreciate that companies and businesses are volunteering donations. The PPE provided to our staff complies with the standard set out by Health Protection Scotland. For that reason, donated equipment needs to come through a validated process which is being coordinated by the procurement department.
“Any offers of donated PPE should be directed to High-UHB.firstname.lastname@example.org. This will ensure that the correct PPE is used by our staff.”
The Free Press was informed that a meeting by video conference was held on (Thursday) involving NHS Highland senior management and local community representatives, including Skye Community Response and Highland Council members. However, NHS Highland is yet to confirm the nature of this meeting following a request by the Free Press.
On Friday afternoon, the staff at Portree Hospital clapped for a minute to show their appreciation for all the support they have received from the community.
As of Friday 10th April, 28,652 people in Scotland had been tested for coronavirus. Of those, 5,275 tests were positive and 495 patients who tested positive have died.
In the Highlands, 144 positive cases have been confirmed, while in the Western Isles six positive cases have been confirmed.
The latest figures are released daily at 2 pm via the Scottish Government website.
Article by Adam Gordon