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NHS Highland offer alternative sites in bid to reduce patient waiting times


By Niall Harkiss

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NHS Highland is offering patients surgery in other locations across the organisation in a bid to reduce the time they are waiting for their procedure.

NHS Highland is offering patients surgery in other locations across the organisation in a bid to reduce the time they are waiting. Picture: Gary Anthony.
NHS Highland is offering patients surgery in other locations across the organisation in a bid to reduce the time they are waiting. Picture: Gary Anthony.

The authority are working their way through a backlog of high priority cancer and urgent operations that has built up as a result of the Covid pandemic, with waiting times for some day case surgical procedures at Raigmore Hospital left much longer than expected.

To help reduce the wait being experienced by patients, other hospital sites within NHS Highland will be offered as an option to patients in order to treat them more quickly.

Dr Boyd Peters, medical director for NHS Highland, said: “We have already been offering newly referred patients a choice of hospital for their surgical procedure and will now be writing to patients who are already waiting for a procedure at Raigmore to also offer them that same opportunity.

“All of our hospitals offer the same high levels of care and treatment for these procedures, and some will have much shorter waiting times than Raigmore.

“We know some people will have concerns about travelling for surgery but I would like to reassure everyone that a clinical assessment will take place before any change of hospital. We will also offer information about our travel expenses policy, to help with the costs of travel and accommodation.”

Patients will be given a choice of attending the following hospitals for their procedure:

  • Caithness General Hospital, Wick
  • Belford Hospital, Fort William
  • Lorn and Islands Hospital, Oban
  • Any site or combination of the above

This option is not available to all specialities / procedures as some will still need to be carried out at Raigmore Hospital.


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