The view patients enjoy from the new upstairs sitting room in the Bethesda respite care unit

Members of the public were welcomed to Bethesda Care Home and Hospice today as the island home opened its new respite care unit for visitors to have a look around.

The half million pound respite care unit was officially opened in June by Mary Anne Lamont, on behalf of the family of Mary Anne Trump Barry who had donated a substantial sum towards the new build.

Funding for the running of the new unit came from Bethesda's own funds along with £200,000 from NHS Western Isles' and Comhairle nan Eilean Siar's Health and Social Care Integration Joint Board; and donations of £15,000 from both the Tolsta Community Development Fund and the Horshader Community Development Fund.

Twenty-two new members of staff have been taken on to support the new facility, bringing the total of 82 people employed by Bethesda Care Home and Hospice, which is also home to 21 permanent residents.

Visitors to the new unit today enjoyed a tour of the nine new respite en-suite bedrooms and new sitting room, which boasts views across the Bethesda Home gardens and Stornoway.

“The unit has been in constant use since it opened,” said Bethesda Finance Officer/Fundraiser D.R MacDonald.

“In the first six months, from November last year to May, one hundred and twenty-three people have received respite here; and that's not just respite for the patient, but also for their carers and families.”

He continued: “Many of the people who have stayed with us say they appreciate not only the care they receive, but also the new facilities which are superb.

“People are telling us it's more like a 5-star hotel and they don't want to go home; and we often have people ringing to book their next stay the day after they've left.”

The Bethesda Care Home and Hospice is open to the public until 4pm today and to find out more about the services offered, please visit 

The new respite care unit en-suite bedrooms are airy and spacious