Skye MSP thanks healthcare campaigners as long-running petition is closed by Holyrood committee

Kate Forbes MSP has praised healthcare campaigners on the Isle of Skye after their long-running petition before a Holyrood committee was closed by MSPs – on account of their fears being alleviated by the ongoing implementation of the Ritchie Report.

There had been huge local concerns about NHS Highland’s major service change proposals for Skye, Lochalsh and South West Ross, which led to the SOS Skye group bringing their plight before the Scottish Parliament’s Public Petitions Committee in 2015.

Since being elected in 2016, Ms Forbes has fought for her constituents at several hearings in Holyrood when the committee was considering this petition.

Along with a 24/7 Urgent Care Centre, all 12 beds in Portree Hospital will be reopened in the near future.

Kate Forbes MSP said: “This has been an incredibly long saga, and the tireless commitment of my constituents should be commended as well as the support of the Public Petitions Committee members who have kept the petition open.

“This has given my constituents the comfort of scrutiny and accountability. The cross-party work on this, with Edward Mountain and Rhoda Grant, has also proved invaluable.

“Since the Ritchie Report, which was announced in October 2017 by me and Ian Blackford MP, there has been a thorough review, a series of recommendations and significant progress.

“Ultimately, last May it was agreed that Portree Hospital should, under no circumstances, be closed.

“A fortnight ago, Jeane Freeman came to Skye and Lochalsh to meet campaigners and healthcare professionals and it is safe to say that there is far more hope and confidence.”

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