Tuesday, 17 October 2017


Mental Health Services Redesign ‘Next Steps’ Events: Uists and Barra

Published on 06 Apr 2017

NHSWI Mental Health Services Redesign Image

People with an interest in mental health and mental health services are being asked to come along and help us redesign mental health services in the Uists and Barra.

NHS Western Isles has been working with its partners to look at the services we provide for people with mental health problems. The partners include Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, Penumbra, Alzheimer’s Scotland, Western Isles Association for Mental Health, Tagsa Uibhist and Cobhair Barraigh.  We are doing this work because we believe we can make the services better by redesigning them, and have asked for the help and input of service users, caregivers, and service providers in doing so. 

Last year we asked people about the current services and what would make them better, and about how a Recovery approach would make a difference. We agreed to return in Spring 2017 with our proposals on how we can improve services.  These proposals have now been developed into four options, with a preferred option recommended as the way forward.

The options can be summarised (with minimal details) as:

  • Option 1: No change
  • Option 2: Implement the NHS changes proposed in 2013 to reduce the number of mental health and dementia beds in Stornoway, increase slightly the community mental health service, and not change the role of the other agencies involved in mental health care
  • Option 3: Provide a fully community based service with better links across agencies.Access to beds for up to 72 hours in all three hospitals across the Western Isles, staffed by community mental health team members.Longer term hospitalisations in mainland centres.
  • Option 4: A fully community based service as Option 3 with better links across agencies, but with no beds beyond those to accommodate people for a very short time whilst arranging transfer to a mainland hospital.

A special assessment panel, with service users, caregivers and providers, met in December and chose Option 3 as the one they felt would be best for the people of the Western Isles.  This option has been supported by the Integration Joint Board and the NHS Board.

We now need to explore what these options, and Option 3 in particular, would look like for people with mental health issues and the wider community.

We invite everyone with an interest in mental health to join us, for however long you can spare, at events being held in Uist and Barra to offer your views on the proposed option.

Stakeholder events are being held as follows:

  • Wednesday 19th April 2017 at 2.30pm to 5.30pm in Castlebay Community Hall, Isle of Barra
  • Thursday 20th April 2017 at 12 noon to 3pm in Balivanich Community Hall, Isle of Benbecula

Alternatively, you can send us your views on Option 3 which can be viewed online at: http://bit.ly/2p5llt1 and the proposed changes in the services provided for mental health problems by Friday 31st May 2017 to: