Exciting chance to make a difference in island health care

Welcoming new Non Executive members is NHS Western Isles Board Chair Neil Galbraith.
Welcoming new Non Executive members is NHS Western Isles Board Chair Neil Galbraith.
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THE opportunity to take part in and influence the decisions made about health care in the Outer Hebrides is presented as NHS Western Isles is looking for two new Non Executive members to join its Board.

Two current members of the Board come to the end of their term on August 31st this year, and the local health board has advertised what will prove to be an interesting and challenging chance to get involved right at the centre of the health care provision.

Board Chair, Neil Galbraith, said: “In a sense it’s giving people the opportunity to see the health services not just as a consumer item.

“The health service is a great fabric of our society and still only one of the few organisations that’s free at the point of delivery – no one has to count their wallet before they go into hospital.

“We’re dealing with people at the beginning of their lives, when they’re born, right through to the end of life with palliative care, so we’re dealing with life in the most direct sense,” he continued.
“As a Non Executive member, you don’t see the patients every day, but the patients are always at the forefront of your mind and the decisions you make. The Non Executive members have a real chance to take part in something very important.”
As a Non Executive Board member, those selected will play a central role in guiding the strategies which address the health priorities and health care needs of the local population.

And the health care provided in the Western Isles can be argued as one of the best in the UK, as Mr Galbraith commented: “You’ll never find in the Western Isles a lack of care. The staff here go well beyond what’s expected of them.

“We could refill the nursing complement of the islands times over with the nurses these islands have produced, brought up and trained in the community, our caring community.”

Appointment as Non Executive NHS Western Isles Board member is up to a period of four years, with the possibility of re-appointment at the end.

Taking up on average eight hours a week – in exchange for £7,332 (non-pensionable) a year plus reasonable travel and subsistence costs – full, and on going, training for the role will be provided with a strong support system in place both locally and on the mainland.

“There seems to be no end of training in this place,” added Mr Galbraith, “Almost every second day I get an email about some form of training to continually help improve the knowledge and skills of our staff.

“Board members have training days every second month and that can be on government directions or highlighting and focusing on things raised locally,” he continued.

“There’s a tremendous amount of support and if people have a specific interest in something, then that can be met. We want people who have an interest primarily in the health services, and commitment follows on from that interest.”

If you’re interested and wish to find out more, an application pack and full details on the Non Executive appointments can be found at the public appointments website www.appointed-for-scotland.org

Completed applications must be received on or before Friday, April 12th.