Local News for Tuesday 28th May 2019


Isles MSP Alasdair Allan and Western Isles patient groups have welcomed the news that a working group will be convened to review NHS Western Isles’ system for approving funding for patient escorts.
Patients travelling off-island for treatment to mainland hospitals will, in many cases, require an escort to accompany them. Last year, NHS Western Isles announced a new system for approving requests for NHS-funded escorts, with the Health Board making the decision where this had previously been the responsibility of the patient’s GP.

While there were no changes made to the criteria for approving escorts or to the Patient Travel Policy, it appeared to patient groups that the criteria were being much more strictly enforced, leading to increasing numbers of people having their applications for a patient escort refused. Patient advocacy groups, led by the Western Isles Cancer Care Initiative (WICCI), have been pushing for a more patient-centred form of approval for patient escorts.

Following a petition launched by WICCI that gained over 1,500 signatures, and lobbying of the Scottish Government by MSP Alasdair Allan, the Cabinet Secretary for Health Jeane Freeman has ordered NHS Western Isles to convene a working group as a matter of priority to review the process for patient escorts and take steps where required to ensure it is patient-centred and operates in such a way that best supports patients in making applications.


Volunteers Week takes place 1st-7th June. During the week, the Volunteer Centre Western Isles will help organisations to celebrate their volunteers, this year, Volunteers’ Week is focusing on celebrating all the great things that volunteers do. It is an opportunity to celebrate volunteering in all its diversity.

Get involved and say thank you to your volunteers! From trustees and campaigners to carers and fundraisers, this is a great time to think about the fantastic contribution all your volunteers make.

The Western Isles has one of the highest rates of volunteering in the UK.

As well as helping others, volunteering has been shown to improve volunteers' wellbeing too. It’s human nature to feel good after helping someone out. Volunteering can help you gain valuable new skills and experiences, and boost your confidence.

The Volunteer Centre can provide you with Volunteers Week thank you cards, certificates or ideas on how to thank your volunteers. You can pick up cards and certificates from the Volunteer Centre at 95 Cromwell Street, Stornoway.

If you would like to get involved, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit www.volunteercentrewi.org for more information.