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Urgent Care Centre in Portree forced to reduce operating hours due to ‘significant staffing pressures’

Urgent Care Centre in Portree
Portree Hospital where the Urgent Care Centre is located. Picture by Sandy McCook.

The urgent care centre at Portree Hospital has reduced its operating hours this week due to a lack of staff.

NHS Highland, which operates the care centre on Skye, said they were were experiencing “significant staffing pressures”.

Its hours have been reduced from 8pm-8am today and tomorrow and Friday.

However, it will be closed on Thursday.

A receptionist will be present to redirect anyone who attends the centre.

The service will be supported by the rural emergency practitioner team based at the Dr MacKinnon Memorial Hospital in Broadford.

It is not the first time the Urgent Care Centre has been affected by staffing shortages.

In July 2021, the centre was forced to suspend operations due to what the health board described as “ongoing staffing pressures, which directly impacts patient safety”.

‘Significant staffing pressures’

It is not the first time the centre has been affected by staffing shortages. Last July, it suspended operations due to ongoing pressures “which directly impacts patient safety”.

Staff shortages are happening across several NHS Highland hospitals as it struggles to recruit with the lingering threat of Covid remaining.

A spokesman for NHS Highland said: “We are doing everything we can to improve the staffing situation and will provide an update next week. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.”

Katherine Sutton, NHS Highland’s chief officer for acute services, last month said: “High levels of Covid-19 are also affecting our staff and absences in our hospital, community and care services are causing us major challenges in delivering our services.

“Our hospitals remain busy and are being affected by outbreaks of infection which can affect where patients are placed and can impact on visitors.”

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