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Fort Williams Belford Hospital welcomed Kate Forbes through its doors last week and the MSP for Skye, Lochaber and Badenoch met with staff to thank them for their efforts throughout the pandemic.
Also under discussion during the visit was the wider redesign of services in Lochaber including the replacement Belford Hospital.
Mike Hayward, NHS Highland’s Deputy Chief Officer (Acute) said: ‘It was wonderful
to meet Ms Forbes and give her a tour of the hospital.
‘We outlined the challenges we faced during the Covid-19 pandemic and how we have developed plans to support local service delivery.
‘Although capacity has been reduced due to Covid-19, we were happy to inform the
minister that a range of minor surgeries have been able to continue throughout the
pandemic and some specialised procedures previously conducted in Inverness, like
Breast and Colorectal surgery, are planned to be carried out locally, by visiting surgeons.
‘Surgical services are now also offered to patients from other areas of Highland, to
reduce people waiting long periods of time for treatment, following a similar approach
to Golden Jubilee Hospital.’
The visit was also an ideal opportunity for Ms Forbes to see the new state-of-the-art
CT scanner which has recently been installed at the Belford.
Kate Forbes MSP said: ‘The Belford Hospital is of critical importance to Fort William
and the wider area.
‘I was delighted to visit and thank staff for their unwavering commitment to patients over the pandemic and beyond.
‘I have visited before, and I’ve always been impressed by their work ethic, professionalism and creativity in serving their patients.
‘I hope there will be a new hospital as soon as possible that meets the clinical needs of the people of Lochaber.’