Highlands & Islands

Broadford on Skye chosen for new hospital

The board of NHS Highland has agreed that a new hospital for Skye and Lochalsh will be developed in Broadford on the island.

Portree Hospital, also on Skye, will be upgraded and become a smaller "spoke" hospital to the hub facility in Broadford.

Health Secretary Shona Robison will be asked to approve the proposals.

The plans are opposed by islanders in the north of the isle who would prefer Portree to be the main site.

Last month, they warned that they may seek a judicial review of the consultation process into the site for the new hospital.

NHS Highland has defended the options appraisal carried out by a steering group.

The Scottish Health Council has also said the process was legitimate.

'Historic' decision

The new set up would serve Skye and, on the mainland, communities in Lochalsh and parts of Wester Ross.

Garry Coutts, chairman of NHS Highland, described the board's decision as "historic" and said detailed planning for the new facilities would now get under way.

He said: "We have reached a crucial stage in the redesign of services in the area.

"Our public engagement and consultation has been both lengthy and thorough, and we are satisfied that we have reached a decision that best reflects the needs and aspirations of the entire community."

Mr Coutts added: "Understandably, there has been some controversy around this issue.

"People have approached it from various perspectives, and our job has been to try to arrive at a consensus view on how best to reshape our services."

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