Green light to modernise health and social care services

health and social care, Broadford hospital, planning permission
Broadford hospital

The Board of NHS Highland has given the green light to a £48m investment to modernise health and social care services in Badenoch and Strathspey and Skye, Lochalsh and South West Ross

The Highland Council granted planning permission for a new 24-bed community hospital at Broadford on Skye on Friday 3rd May 2019. The Cairngorm National Park Authority granted planning permission for a 24-bed community hospital in Aviemore on 22nd February, 2019. Construction of the two community hospitals will begin this summer.

NHS Highland’s chief executive, Iain Stewart, said: “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.

“The redesigned services will be more stable, more sustainable and will deliver a better experience for our patients and wider communities.”

Health secretary, Jeane Freeman, who visited Skye and Lochalsh, added: “My visit to Skye and Lochalsh today has been an opportunity to find out more about the work underway to deliver the recommendations in Sir Lewis Ritchie’s report on out of hours services.

“Reading the latest report and hearing from members of the community, the clinicians and other partners has reassured me that NHS Highland are moving in the right direction.

“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.

The redesign of health and social care services in Skye, Lochalsh, and South West Ross includes:

  • Construction of a community hospital in Broadford, consolidating in-patient and X-Ray services
  • Conversion of space in Broadford Health Centre to accommodate the Integrated Team (South Skye), Locality Management, and provide a large meeting and training space
  • Closure of Mackinnon Memorial Hospital building, demolition of adjacent bungalow and cessation of lease at the Highland Council service point (Broadford)
  • Investment in community beds in North Skye – subject to the conclusion of an option appraisal
  • Implementation of the recommendations of the Sir Lewis Ritchie external view of Out of Hours Services

The Badenoch & Strathspey redesign includes:

  • Construction of a new community hospital in Aviemore, co-locating in-patient services, Urgent Care facility, Scottish Ambulance Service, Aviemore Medical Practice, the Integrated Health and Social Care Team and Highland Council Care & Learning team
  • Closure of Ian Charles Hospital (Grantown-on-Spey), St Vincent’s Hospital (Kingussie), Aviemore Health Centre building and cessation of lease at Rathven House (Aviemore)
  • Investment in Grantown Health Centre and Kingussie Medical Centre to maintain services displaced by the closure of the existing hospitals
  • Opening of two new flexible beds in NHSH care homes at Grant House (Grantown-on-Spey) and one flexible bed at the Wade Centre (Kingussie, completed 2017)
  • Relocation of specialist mental health inpatient services to New Craigs Hospital (already completed)

The benefits of the joint Full Business Case include:

  • Disposal of outdated and unsuitable buildings in favour of modern facilities resulting in improved quality of accommodation for patients, visitors and staff
  • Resources released from buildings and staffing allow investment in community services, moving care closer to home as per the Scottish Government’s 2020 vision as well as resulting in a £215k annual saving
  • Consolidation of in-patient facilities increases staffing resilience, reducing reliance on agency staff and improving service sustainability
  • A £4.6m investment to refurbish and retain existing facilities in Grantown, Kingussie, Broadford and Portree, extending the life and function of these buildings and providing an improved patient environment


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