Isles FM News in association with Hebrides News - Monday 6th July 2020


Sunday, 5th July marked the 72nd Anniversary of the NHS, as well as 2020 also marking the 72nd year of the social care system. To mark these remarkable milestones, more so significant during these current times, NHS Western Isles announced the launch of its new website at:
The 'Looking Back' section celebrates the 72nd Anniversary and the rich history of healthcare and the NHS in the Outer Hebrides, this includes nursing careers and stories, photo gallery, video archive, and useful links.
Visitors to the new website will find changes with user-friendly navigation, increased service listings, useful information and rich content. The new and improved website, boasting a clean design, features images representing the islands from throughout the Outer Hebrides, and offers easy access to essential and accurate information.
The front landing page features three important new sections titled ‘I am a Patient’, ‘I am a Carer’ and ‘I am a Visitor’ to help individuals find the information relevant to them, at the right time.
This includes patients being able to access information relating to their Outpatient appointments or Inpatient stay, carers being able to access help and support for themselves and the person they look after, whilst visitors can access information on hospital facilities, refreshments and what they must do if they plan on visiting during the coronavirus pandemic.
As well as including the ‘Near Me’ virtual appointment system, maternity services, dental health, patient travel and virtual visiting, the revised ‘Our Services’ section features a wide range of newly added services offering an overview of each team.
This includes who teams are aimed at, services each offers, location(s), referral methods, patient information literature and links, and their direct contact details. Newly added services includes Nurse-led services, sexual health services, substance misuse, chaplaincy and spiritual care, and work and health.
They have also made it easier for visitors looking to get more involved within their local health service, from finding out about current consultation and engagement to volunteering, and submitting feedback. In addition, anyone looking to apply for a job with NHS Western Isles is encouraged to visit the new section ‘Working, Studying and Volunteering’. All items can be found in the ‘Get Involved’ section.
As well as links to our social media (Facebook and Twitter) channels, the site also features a link to the Vimeo platform, where all films which have been produced by, or in partnership with, NHS Western Isles can be viewed.
The new site also links to the local coronavirus website (, where information relating to COVID-19 can separately be found. You can explore the new site at



The world-renowned Hebridean Celtic Festival has announced an online programme of short film sessions which will see a variety of leading musical artists and creatives producing new work for festival week in July.
Dubbed Seisean HebCelt / HebCelt Sessions, the commissions will feature Freumhan / Roots featuring Calum Alex MacMillan, Norrie Maciver (Skipinnish) and James D. Mackenzie (Breabach) (Wednesday 15th July, 8pm); Julie Fowlis and an array of Gaelic singers, accompanists and dancers (Thursday 16th July, 8pm); Colin MacLeod with Rory Macdonald of Runrig and a handpicked cast of musicians with a new recording of Runrig anthem ‘Only The Brave’ (Friday 17th July, 8pm).
Closing the weekend sessions will be a film including footage and interviews gathered over recent HebCelt festivals together with some current lockdown interviews (Saturday 18th July, 10pm).
Each song commission lasts for approximately five minutes, with the film running for approximately 30 minutes. They will be streamed across the festival’s YouTube, Facebook and Instagram channels.
Festival director, Caroline Maclennan, said:
“Our focus was to contract with artists and other creatives from the Hebrides to produce new high quality engaging online content to reach out to our global audience following the requirement to postpone this year’s event due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
“We are so fortunate to be able to work with such talented and dedicated Hebridean artists and to bring these fresh commissions to our HebCelt audiences, albeit virtually. We will so miss not partying with them all this July. We are grateful to Creative Scotland and Comhairle nan Eilean Siar for their continued festival support.”
“We know that HebCelt’s huge local economic impact will be missed this year and the festival team wanted to be able to give something back. We chose Bethesda Hospice as the charity of preference to benefit from Seisean HebCelt. This will allow us to help generate donations for a very worthwhile cause, one close to the hearts of many Hebrideans.”
The festival have set up a Just Giving charity page, making it possible for all who wish to donate directly to the Bethesda Hospice in Stornoway which provides four hospice beds for specialist palliative care and 30 care home beds.
General Manager at Bethesda Hospice, Carol Somerville, said:
“HebCelt is a very important part of the culture and local economy so we are extremely pleased to have this support. These Sessions will provide some welcome relief and enjoyment. At Bethesda we are required to raise over £370,000 per year to keep the hospice open so any donations will be gratefully received.”
The array of other artists engaged as part of the sessions include: Kathleen MacInnes, Cathy Ann MacPhee, Eilidh Mackenzie, Fiona Mackenzie, Anna Murray, Ceitlin Lilidh, Josie Duncan, Alyth McCormack, Éamon Doorley, Innes White, Alex Tearse, James D. Mackenzie, Jane Hepburn Macmillan, Niteworks, Sorren Maclean, Scott Macleod, Keith Morrison, Jason Laing, Willie Campbell, Sean Harrison and Rosie Sullivan.




This year’s Eilean Dorcha Festival will take place virtually on the Comhairle Facebook page on the 23rd and 24th of July.
The Comhairle has been broadcasting weekly Cèilidhs on its Facebook page and welcomes the opportunity to host a range of talented artists who have performed at the festival over the years. The 5th anniversary of the EDF Festival will go ahead on their virtual platform as well as the Festival’s Facebook page later this month.
Roddy Mackay is the Development Manager of the EDF Festival as well as one of the local Councillors for Benbecula and North Uist and recognised the opportunity to use the Comhairle platform to broadcast the festival online.
He said:
‘I feel that the Comhairle page is the perfect place to broadcast the EDF Festival online. I am delighted that we have been able to work together to ensure that the EDF Festival does go ahead virtually.
‘This would have been the 5th anniversary of the Festival and we felt it was important to find a way of keeping it going despite the restrictions. We wanted to support the bands without whom we simply wouldn’t have a festival, this is our opportunity to support them in their hour of need. I would like to thank the artists for making this happen, they have gone above and beyond and taken the time to record performances for the event for no charge and have helped to create what is sure to be a fantastic weekend of music.’


Monitoring work undertaken on behalf of Food Standards Scotland has identified that the high levels of shellfish toxins identified in Traigh Mhor in Barra on 12 June 2020 have returned to safe levels.
The warning against eating shellfish from this area has now been lifted.