Highlands & Islands

Western Isles baby health visits suspended

Baby's feet
Image caption Health checks will be done at clinics instead of in home visits

A number of health visiting services on the Western Isles have been temporarily suspended because of problems filling vacancies at the islands' health board.

NHS Western Isles said "every effort" was being made to recruit for two vacant full-time posts in its health visiting team.

It added that some home visits such as those to new mothers and their children were being prioritised.

Services suspended include routine postnatal visits by a health visitor.

Also 27-month home assessments of babies in the Uists and on Barra were being suspended. Parents have been asked to take their children to clinics for this assessment.

Colin Gilmour, of NHS Western Isles, said: "We are experiencing ongoing difficulties in recruiting to our health visiting vacancies and are making every effort to ensure that posts are filled as soon as possible.

"In the meantime, we have prioritised services to ensure that all essential services are maintained.

"We do regret that some services have been temporarily reduced or suspended, and would apologise to anyone that this affects."

He added: "We would reassure our service users that these service reductions are temporary and we hope to have normal service provision in place as soon as posts are filled."

NHS Western Isles said it hoped to interview potential candidates for the jobs at the end of the month.

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