Isles FM News in association with Hebrides News: Wednesday 15th APRIL 2020


NHS Western Isles continues to provide support for patients in isolation. Over 160 virtual healthcare appointments, have been delivered in the Western Isles during the last 2 weeks.

All GP Practices, hospitals and other care settings across Scotland, have been asked to increase the use of remote consultations, by telephone or video, through the initiative called Near Me.

NHS Western Isles had already successfully used this service effectively, for several years. But has now successfully expanded its use to all specialties, including GP Practices across the Western Isles, and local opticians.

A spokesperson said:

“Patient feedback has been extremely positive across the board, as the service is easy to use and enables people to continue to access healthcare services, remotely from the comfort of their own homes. The friendly virtual reception service, has supported callers and ensured they were in the right Virtual Waiting Room, for their appointment.

“NHS Western Isles due to the Near Me Initiative, has enabled patients to speak to our medical staff, during 163 virtual appointments, totalling 37 hours of consultation time, across nine of our Health Care services departments”.


West Coast Ferry operator CalMac, has reported that during the holiday weekend, that just 163 people travelled on the vessels. This is a 99.2% drop in numbers, from the holiday weekend last year.

CalMac’s director of operations, Robert Morrison, said:

“There had been concerns that people would travel to try and access the islands, but thankfully the guidance not to travel unless absolutely necessary, seems to have been accepted.
The ‘stay at home’ message would appear to be working, if trips to Scotland’s west coast islands, are a reflection of wider travel patterns”.


An Lanntair Arts Centre in Stornoway is keeping individuals and families connected, during isolation over recent weeks.

The arts centre website has been delivering a wealth of information, funding opportunities, family activities, and free creative downloads,

An Lanntair’s Education team have been busy preparing a number of new resources and activities including The new Hebridean Handbook. The book was designed as a gentle guide to home learning.

The Hebridean handbook is a fun-filled education resource pack, for island families to enjoy together. It is divided into themes, each relevant to different aspects of life in the Outer Hebrides, it encourages families to explore our unique environment, learn about nature and get creative.

To access the free resources and keep connected see