New provision for hospital and out-of-hours doctor cover for Barra and Vatersay

New temporary arrangements will commence next month to cover out-of-hours medical services and hospital medical cover on Barra and Vatersay.

Wednesday, 31st March 2021, 8:28 am
Barra Medical Centre

The arrangements will be in place for a period of six months from April 1. From that date, Barra Medical Practice will no longer provide these ‘local enhanced services’.

There will be no change to the daytime GP service, which will continue to be provided by the practice.

During the six-month interim arrangement, long-term permanent options will be developed.

From April until the end of September, two GPs have been employed by NHS Western Isles to provide medical cover at St Brendan’s Hospital, both during normal daytime hours and out of hours. They will also provide emergency care out-of-hours for the local population.

Both doctors have experience working in rural healthcare and have recently worked within Project Joy, designed to improve the recruitment of medical staff in remote and rural areas.

Holiday cover arrangements are in place, with cover being provided by two locums: one a colleague of the two new GPs, and the other who is currently working in the Western Isles Hospital.

The above arrangement will ensure that the current high quality services will be maintained.

The induction period for the new GPs has been completed and the individuals have already been working within the system to meet staff and understand patient pathways, processes and systems.

Emergency care out of hours will be accessed through NHS24 on the 111 telephone number.

NHS Western Isles would like to take this opportunity to sincerely thank Barra Medical Practice and GP partners for their longstanding commitment and contribution to out-of-hours and hospital medical services on Barra and Vatersay. The service has provided high quality, focused care for the local population and the many visitors to the Islands.

Options for the longer-term will be developed in partnership with staff and other stakeholders, and NHSWI have committed to ensuring there is engagement with the local community as this work progresses.