Isles FM News in association with Hebrides News - Tuesday 6th October 2020


Comhairle Nan Eilean Siar’s online Community Conversations are underway this week. The Community Conversations offer an opportunity for members of the public to engage with the Comhairle on topics including the Comhairle Budget, Crown Estate funding and service delivery.

Upon the request of local council members and with consideration for the COVID-19 outbreak, the Uist and Benbecula community conversations, originally scheduled for Tuesday 6th October and Wednesday 7th October have been postponed to a later date. Residents of Uist cancontact their local members in the usual manner to feed views into the process.

The Harris virtual meeting is now on Wednesday 7th October and the Lochs area meeting is on Thursday 8th.Dates for next week’s meetings in other areas, are available on the Comhairle Website.



NHS Western Isles would like to reassure pregnant women in Uist, that maternity services are continuing as normal. However, during this time the midwifery service will be limiting face-to-face contact with patients until the Uist Coronavirus outbreak has ended.

Patients who are experiencing symptoms of coronavirus, have been asked by Test & Protect to self-isolate or be tested and to inform their local midwifery service as soon as possible to ensure they provide the safest option for care. Expectant mothers should not attend appointments in these circumstances with the exception of emergencies.



In light of the COVID 19 transmission rate across Uist, Care Home visiting has been suspended across both North and South Uist. This will be reviewed on a weekly basis with visiting being reinstated at the earliest opportunity.

Meantime Barra, Harris and Lewis, care homes are reverting to having a single, dedicated visitor for each resident. This is a precautionary measure, as although there is no evidence of sustained transmission across these three areas, the Service does want to ensure it strikes the right balance of protecting residents from the potential risk of COVID entering the Care Home whilst also allowing residents to retain critical family and social connections.



CNES Trading Standards are reminding residents in the Western Isles to be on the lookout for both telephone and internet scams.
Nationally, since the lockdown, criminals have been exploiting the public's increased reliance on technology, and unfortunately the Western Isles have not escaped this trend. Recent scams reported locally include HMRC, TV licencing, DVLA, Amazon, broadband and banking scams.

A local scam included an internet speed test with a entitled to just under £500 in compensation for slow internet. The resident was then asked for banking details in order to process their refund. At this stage the complainant realised this was a scam and finished the call.Several minutes later the laptop screen came back on with a live picture of the residents home interior, with scammers having gained remote access to the laptop, whilst pretending to be checking the broadband speeds.

Trading Standards advise that you should not engage with such calls, as scams are devised to get personal details including passwords and bank accounts.



CNES, NHSWI and Hub North Scotland have published a document containing information about the Barra and Vatersay Community Campus project.

The Barra and Vatersay Community Campus Project will see the integration of health, social care, learning and community services and facilities on Barra and Vatersay on a single combined campus in Castlebay.

A Comhairle Spokesperson said, “This Document clearly explains the reasons behind integrating these services onto the one campus and how the Community Campus will be designed to ensure each service has the space and privacy required. The Community Campus will allow for higher quality care and facilities, it will also bring additional learning opportunities.”



The NHS Western Isles Department of Nutrition and Dietetics, is supporting UK Malnutrition Awareness Week, which this year runs between 5t h-12th October 2020.

UK Malnutrition Awareness Week seeks to increase understanding of this important issue amongst general public, health and social care workers and community groups, and mobilise people to take action to identify and prevent malnutrition.

Malnutrition can affect anyone, but it is common in older people and the socially isolated. It can happen over a long period of time so can be difficult to spot.

With 2020 obviously being a challenging year due to difficulties from the coronavirus pandemic, now, more than ever, malnutrition poses a threat to many people who may have lost their usual support networks.



Comhairle nan Eilean Siar is making a change to the scheduled collection day for bins on the Isle of Great Bernera this week. Residents on the Isle of Great Bernera will have their bins emptied on Wednesday 7th October.

As both non-recyclable and food and garden waste bins cannot be emptied at the same time with this vehicle configuration, residents are asked to note that the vehicle will visit each property twice, to collect each waste stream separately.