Kate Forbes MSP hopeful of 24/7 nursing cover for Raasay

The Isle of Raasay has been given assurances it will have 24/7 nursing cover restored after a long fight by local islanders and Kate Forbes MSP.

Ms Forbes secured the commitment from NHS Highland’s new chief executive Iain Stewart a few weeks ago and islanders were given sight of the job description last week.

Raasay, which has a population of about 200, has been without out-of-hours medical care since 2015 – and it has been a cause that their constituency MSP has been fighting for since she was elected back in May 2016.

The finer details around implementation and recruitment have still to be agreed by the health board, but Ms Forbes has welcomed the news for the community. 

Kate Forbes MSP said: “This has been a long time coming but finally the end is in sight. 

“We have been battling for out-of-hours cover since before I was elected and it’s been top of my agenda ever since. If I am relieved and grateful, then how much more so are the local residents. 

“The finer details, of course, need to be confirmed, agreed and implemented but there’s no doubt that NHS Highland has shifted course. The new Chief Executive has made an enormous difference in a short space of time. 

“At my first meeting with him, within days of him starting, I set out my priorities. The lack of out-of-hours cover in Raasay has long been one of the most frustrating issues because it could have been so easily resolvable if NHS Highland had the will to resolve it. 

“I won’t be celebrating until there are nurses in post but for now this is welcome news for local Raasay folk.”

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