Who we are and what we do...

Who we are and what we do…

As a Health Board, our mission statement is to be ‘the best at what we do’ and our overall purpose is:
‘to protect, promote and improve the health and wellbeing of the Western Isles population and to ensure the reliability and delivery of sustainable and safe healthcare and services’.

Other roles of NHS Western Isles include:

NHS Western Isles works alongside mainland Health Boards and other local organisations, including the local authority and third sector (voluntary) organisations, to provide a wide range of healthcare services to the local population. Where possible, services are provided locally, in the Western Isles, but for specific procedures and more specialist services, we work with mainland partners to provide services in other areas.

Western Isles Hospital Entrance

Local Hospitals

There are three hospitals run by NHS Western Isles. The largest is the Western Isles Hospital, a Rural General Hospital located in Stornoway. Western Isles Hospital was opened in 1992 with a range of hospital acute specialities, psychiatry and care of the elderly. The hospital also includes diagnostic facilities, day hospital, laboratory, Allied Health Professionals and other services.  

Ospadal Uibhist agus Bharraigh (Uist and Barra Hospital) is located in Benbecula, and was opened in 2001. It provides a local service for the population of the Southern Isles. The hospital has 29 beds, and provides care of the elderly, GP Acute and Midwifery led maternity services.  Many of the Consultants from the Western Isles Hospital, and some from mainland Health Boards, visit the Uist and Barra Hospital to provide outpatient services.  

St Brendan’s Hospital, with 5 beds, is located in Castlebay on the Isle of Barra and is in a shared building with a local authority care home facility. It is supported by the local GP Practice to provide care of the elderly and other services.

In addition, NHS Western Isles commissions services from other NHS Boards, for example Ear Nose & Throat (ENT) Surgery, Dermatology, Respiratory Medicine, Child Psychiatry, Rheumatology, specialised Paediatrics, Ophthalmology, Oral Surgery, Neurology, Oncology and Urology.

Western Isles Health Board

The performance of NHS Western Isles is overseen by Western Isles Health Board, which is made up of Executive and Non Executive Directors.

The Board itself is led by the Chairman and Chief Executive and comprises of a team of five Executive Directors, five Non Executive Directors, an Employee Director, the Chair of the Area Clinical Forum and a local authority representative.

The Board meets every two months and the meetings are open to the public.

WESTERN ISLESAbout the Western Isles

The Western Isles is located 40 miles off the North West coast of Scotland, and is 130 miles long from the Butt of Lewis in the North to the Isle of Barra in the South. The population of the Western Isles is approximately 26,500, spread over 280 townships.  The Health Board employs over 1,000 staff, excluding GPs and Dentists.

There are regular flights between Stornoway and Glasgow, Edinburgh, Inverness and Aberdeen; and between Barra and Benbecula and Glasgow. There are also regular inter-island flights between Benbecula and Stornoway.

By sea, there are regular ferry sailings between Stornoway and Ullapool; Uig (Skye) and Tarbert; Uig and Lochmaddy and Oban to Barra and Oban to South. There are also regular inter-island ferries between Barra and Eriskay; and Leverburgh (Harris) and Berneray (North Uist).

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