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A number of areas where NHS Western Isles is performing well were noted by Healthcare Improvement Scotland (HIS) after an unannounced inspection visit to Western Isles Hospital in Stornoway. 

The inspection took place a month ago on 5–8 July 2021.  

In terms of areas for improvement, the Western Isles Health Board was reminded to ensure that the fabric of the building is maintained to allow for effective decontamination.

Inspectors noted that, in some areas, the fabric of the building was in need of some repair. 

Healthcare Improvement Scotland today (Thursday 5 August) published its report on the COVID-19-focused inspection.

HIS inspected against a background of relevant current national COVID-19 guidance and existing Healthcare Associate Infection (HAI) standards. The inspection considered the factors that contribute to the risk of COVID-19 (or any other infections).  

Inspectors found that nursing and domestic staff felt well supported by infection prevention and control throughout the pandemic. Staff were also kept up to date and were well supported by line managers and hospital management and a good range of resources was available to support staff wellbeing.  

In terms of Infection Prevention and Control, HIS found that staff compliance was good, there was a good stock of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for staff and visitors, and there were numerous PPE stations available throughout the wards. Staff adhered well to physical distancing requirements and there was found to be effective signage on COVID safety requirements on display. 

In terms of the hospital environment, inspectors noted that it appeared clean in all areas inspected, and the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in an enhanced cleaning regime.  

NHS Western Isles welcomed that inspectors were satisfied that systems were in place to ensure that patients are effectively assessed prior to admission, to ensure that they are managed within the appropriate pathways. 

The report also acknowledged the routine COVID testing that is carried out of all patients on admission to hospital, and that ‘staff were clear when patient testing had to be undertaken’.  

In addition, staff were available at the hospital entrance to provide guidance and directions to visitors. 


NHS Western Isles Nurse and AHP Director/Chief Operating Officer, Fiona C. Mackenzie, stated: “We welcome this report and would like to thank all our staff at the Western Isles Hospital for such positive inspection result. Staff have worked extremely hard over the period of the pandemic to ensure that we can continue to provide high quality, safe and effective services for the local population.

"Of particular importance is that staff have felt well supported and informed and our priority is to ensure that this continues, as this translates into high quality patient care. We also welcome the areas for improvement highlighted by inspectors and we have developed and agreed an action plan to ensure that improvements are quickly addressed.”