An outline business case to build a new £18.2 million facility to replace the crumbling hospital and adjacent care home on Barra has been submitted to the Scottish Government.
St Brendan’s hospital outside Castlebay has been described as “completely unacceptable” for present day standards by health board bosses.
Over £100,000 was spent to try and improve conditions but the facility is still deemed as not fit for purpose for delivering modern, safe and effective healthcare.
The existing site includes a 10-bedroom care home and five-bed hospital, including general admissions and palliative and respite care. The building was erected around 1980 and now falls woefully short of national standards.
A response from capital investment group at the Scottish Government is expected in October. If approved the Western Isles health board will draw up a detailed full financial and business plan.
Proposals for the replacement hub consist of three individual single in patient rooms, resuscitation bays, consulting rooms, GP services, Scottish Ambulance Service, community nursing, dental services and social care services in one integrated central location.
In place of the present care home, there would be a sheltered housing complex with 10 self-contained supported-living flats with ensuite bathrooms and showers.
Neil Galbraith, NHS Western Isles chairman, said: “Through previous consultation, the community made their views clear that there was a need for a new hospital and the proposed hub will provide a modern fit-for purpose facility that will improve the health and social care user experience for patients and their families whilst enabling safe ways of working for our staff and partner organisations.”
Gordon Jamieson, NHS Western Isles chief executive, said: “The comhairle and ourselves recognise the unique nature of this hub and the potential to deliver on our objectives to care for individuals where at all possible in their own homes and their own community.
“Everyone has worked extremely hard and we have been very fortunate that six members of the Barra and Vatersay community, clinical and social care staff have represented their islands throughout the consultation and planning process.
“This demonstrates the high level of public and staff engagement and participation we have undertaken with the local community.”