Key changes to Skye hospital care have been approved by the Scottish Government.
An Outline Business Case for Skye hospital care has been approved and will see Skye healthcare "bundled" with a redesign in Badenoch and Strathspey.
Alterations include refurbishment of Portree Hospital and Broadford and Kyle Health Centres.
Healthcare in Skye took a step forward in May, following the recommendations published in Sir Lewis Ritchie's Report.
The recommendations included 24/7 access to Out of Hours urgent care at Portree Hospital; an increase in the ambulance service's capacity and capability; developing a rural training centre of excellence for clinical staff and in-patient bed availability at Portree Hospital continuing until there is a sufficient alternative provision.
NHS Highland expect to submit a planning application for the new 24-bed hospital building in Broadford. This proposed new hospital will see a new, modern integrated health and social care hub in Broadford and re-design of Portree Hospital, which will house the Portree GP practice and continue to provide outpatient clinics and other services including, Minor/Injury Urgent Care services in and out of hours.
The wider redesign of community services will see an increase in community health and care support workers, allied health professionals and dedicated step up/step down/ flexible use community beds, including in Portree. These beds will be located in local care homes and provide an enhanced level of support, reducing the need for people to be in hospital.
The full business case for the project is scheduled to be presented to the Scottish Government in early 2019, with the construction of the hospitals commencing once this is approved.
Health Secretary, Shona Robison, said: “I’m pleased that approval has been given to the outline business cases and look forward to sight of the full business cases when they are ready. This capital investment of more than £30 million will modernise Community and Hospital Services in Badenoch & Strathspey and Skye, Lochalsh and South West Ross and ensure communities can access excellent local services that will meet current and future needs for generations to come.”