Friday, August 23, 2019
The skye times mobile

The Scottish Parliament's Public Petitions Committee voted unanimously to keep a long-running petition on the controversial redesign of healthcare services open for a further six months.

Earlier today (Thursday 7 June) the Scottish Parliament's Public Petitions Committee decided it would return to the matter at a future date, pending the implementation of Sir Lewis Ritchie's recent report into healthcare provision in the north of Skye.

The Holyrood petition from SOS Skye, which was first heard in 2015, calls for an Independent Scrutiny Panel (ISP) to be established to examine NHS Highland's major service change proposals in the region.

The committee will write to the Scottish Government to ask for their views on Sir Lewis Ritchie's independent review of out-of-hours service on Skye.

The committee also intends to ask the Scottish Government to provide assurances as to how it will ensure NHS Highland implements the recommendations from Sir Lewis Ritchie's review.

Today's committee meeting was the tenth occasion that the petition has been discussed by MSPs.

The decision to keep the petition open had cross-party support from Edward Mountain MSP (Scottish Conservative), Kate Forbes MSP (SNP) and Rhoda Grant MSP (Scottish Labour).

Kate Forbes MSP said: "We have made huge progress since the last meeting, with Professor Sir Lewis Ritchie's report stating unequivocally that Portree Hospital should remain open, with resilient 24/7 emergency care and beds provided in the north end of Skye.

"The priority now is to ensure this happens, and until it is implemented in full, I am pleased that the Public Petitions Committee has decided to keep the petition open.

Following the committee's decision, Edward Mountain commented: "I am very pleased for the people of Skye that the Petitions Committee have kept the petition for a further six months to ensure NHS Highland implements Sir Lewis Ritchie's recommendations in full."

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