NHS Western Isles backs option for Barra hospital and school service.

At a special private meeting of Western Isles Health Board on November 27, 2019, Board members reviewed and discussed the Feasibility Study in relation to the Barra and Vatersay Community Campus.

Four options were considered as part of the study.

  • Option 1A: New build integrated facility combing health, social care, learning and community facilities into a single campus.
  • Option 1B: New build integrated facility combing health, social care, learning and community facilities into a single campus with diverted main road.
  • Option 2: Integrated facility with retained elements from existing Castlebay School e.g. sports hall and reception area.
  • Option 3: Standalone St Brendan’s Health and Social Care Hub by NHSWI on currently proposed site, and standalone school and community facilities by CnES on the existing school site.
  • Option 4: Collaborative approach (NHSWI & CnES) to project development (design, procurement and construction) but on existing separate sites.

The Board was unanimous in its decision to accept Option 1B. The Board’s view is that Option 1B is the only option that delivers the maximum and optimal level of organisational and operational integrated working, whilst at the same time potentially offering significantly greater community, learning, and wellbeing benefits.

NHS Western Isles Chief Executive, Gordon Jamieson, and Comhairle nan Eilean Siar Chief Executive, Malcolm Burr, issued the following joint statement: “We are delighted that we have reached this important milestone - co-creating with our colleagues in Council and Health, the wider public sector, and community - such an Education and Wellbeing Centre, unique in its makeup. This, we believe, is the best possible outcome for the population of Barra and Vatersay.

“These facilities will be a beacon for others, and a pathfinder, delivering on key government objectives and policy and something truly transformational for the population.”

Na h-Eileanan an Iar SNP MSP Alasdair Allan has commented on the decision.“Now that NHS Western Isles and Comhairle nan Eilean Siar both have an agreed-upon option for investment on the island it is imperative that we soon start to see real progress made on the ground.

“Ultimately, this is about the future delivery of public services to the community in Barra and Vatersay. We also need to the see the community as fully involved in that process as possible.”

This post has been updated since first being published.