Trials of a day service at Portree Community Hospital began last week.

The trial sees part of the hospital facility being transformed into a ‘one stop shop’ for the assessment and subsequent support of frail and elderly patients living in the north of the Island.

The day service will assess patients’ particular health care needs and develop appropriate care plans for them.

If the trial is successful, NHS Highland and other stakeholders are keen to expand the concept and the approach to cover a wide range of conditions.

Designed to be flexible as possible, the service uses a multi-disciplinary team of health professionals and third sector partners. The trial has input from occupational therapy, physiotherapy, community nursing, GP, Pharmacist, Consultant, and third sector partner organisation, Connecting Carers. If it is successful the wider team could include dietetics, podiatry, speech and language, social work with other third sector partner organisations, who could potentially be co-ordinated to see the patient when they attend the day service.

At the end of the four week trial, those patients who have attended will have a further assessment. After that, arrangements will be made to see patients after a set time for a check up and to see if the intervention has been beneficial to the patient.

Initially, the trial of the North Skye Day Service is using patients referred by Portree Medical Centre’s own GPs. But if successful and established as a service, it will cover the whole of North Skye with any health or care professional able to refer patients, including GPs and staff from the Dunvegan and Carbost medical practices.

Roslynne O’Connor, practice manager at Portree Medical Centre, said: “There is a lot to consider, transport being one example. However, we hope through this trial we can evidence that this service would be of value to the people of North Skye and to provide a blueprint that could be replicated in South Skye and, potentially, in other areas.“