A new central decontamination unit (CDU) is due to open at Western Isles Hospital later this month, bringing to an end a period of disruption to some surgical procedures at the hospital.

The newly extended and modernised Central Decontamination Unit is positioned next to the two operating theatres at Western Isles Hospital, providing a modern unit for cleaning, disinfection and sterilization of medical equipment and ensuring cleanliness on items for use in wards and health centres.

But the construction period has led some patients to report cancelled procedures and operations being delayed and rescheduled to mainland hospitals. NHS Western Isles agreed that there had been some inconvenience to patients, but said there were currently no restrictions on the use of the hospital’s own theatre suites.

In a statement to welovestornoway.com today (Friday June 7th) they said:“NHS Western Isles regrets any inconvenience caused to patients due to disruption in surgical services, in particular the small number who have had their operation cancelled.

“During the building of the new NHSWI Central Decontamination Unit (CDU), surgical instruments were cleaned and sterilised by a mainland unit. We encountered some issues with a quantity of instruments on return, which we were not able to use.

“Patient safety remains the highest of priorities for the Health Board which has worked closely with patients, their families, and mainland Health Boards to ensure patients have timely access to surgical services.

“While we understand this has been inconvenient for some patients, it is essential that we provide patients with the best available options for safe care.

“It is important to also note that no patient affected by this issue has breached the Treatment Time Guarantee.

(This article has been revised and amended with new information from NHSWI since it was first published on Thursday June 6th).