An impressive new Community Equipment Store in Balivanich was recently opened by NHS Western Isles and Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, heralding the first time that all Uist and Barra community equipment will be located in the same building.
The £441,000 investment new build, conveniently located beside Ospadal Uibhist agus Bharraigh, will ensure an extensive community equipment core stock is continuously held and available when needed.
Designed by local architect Dr. Gordon Anderson and built by local contractors J.J. Macdonald Contractors, an additional facility has also been incorporated into the new store to enable staff to access training for the assessment and prescribing of standard equipment.
Sonja Smit, NHS Western Isles Occupational Therapy Services Manager, said “We are delighted with our fantastic new building. It really is a first class facility to help us deliver a first class service.
“I must pay tribute to the staff who have worked hard in so many different environments over the years to deliver a quality service to our clients; I know they are going to enjoy working in this amazing new store.
“The new purpose-built storage facility will enable all community equipment to be housed in a central location, where in previous years a number of buildings were used. On behalf of the Community Equipment Service, I would like to convey our thanks to the local community and businesses for their help and flexibility over the years."
Gordon Jamieson, NHS Western Isles Chief Executive, said “It’s been a long held aspiration of mine to improve and speed up the provision of equipment and aids to allow people to stay and be cared for in their own homes and community in Uist.
“This new build means that people can access the right equipment at the right time, and be properly supported after hospital discharge. It really is a facility to be proud of and it will transform the lives of our patients in Uist and Barra.”
Pictured cutting the ribbon (L-R): Alison Docherty, iHub Equipment Lead for Place, Home & Housing; J.J. MacDonald, local contractor; Neil Galbraith, NHS Western Isles Chairman; Gordon Jamieson, NHS Western Isles Chief Executive, and Sonja Smit, NHS Western Isles Occupational Therapy Services Manager.