Earlier this month Skye Times reported how Portree RNLI were called in to ferry ambulance staff to an emergency on Raasay.
The incident was said to have once again highlighted the lack of out of hours medical cover on the island. Now here’s one resident’s take on the incident and its aftermath as related on social media.
"When the paramedics are called out to Raasay these days they are usually brought across by the fantastic RNLI crew. At the same time one of our local volunteers is contacted to drive the (very old) ambulance that is kept on the island down to the ferry terminal to collect the paramedic and take them to the patient. That volunteer then waits whilst the patient is assessed and eventually takes the paramedics (and patient if evacuation is required) back to the waiting lifeboat.
"The last call out luckily didn't result in an evacuation, but it required the paramedics to travel from Skye to Raasay to ascertain this. This round trip must have taken about an hour and a half, making the paramedics unavailable to anyone else who needed them during this time - the paramedics cover Skye and Raasay.
"Of course, up until last June the nurse on Raasay would have been able to attend and assess the patient far more quickly without having to involve the paramedics or RNLI unless an evacuation was required.
"After dropping the paramedics back to the lifeboat the ambulance wouldn't start. It was eventually jump started (thanks to more volunteers from the island) and returned to it's parking place at the (empty) Nurses station. However it now will not start at all and despite informing the Scottish Ambulance Service nothing has been done. SO if there is another call out on Raasay, whilst no doubt the community would rally to collect the paramedic (as they have had to do on other occasions), we currently have no way of transporting a patient to the point of evacuation if they are too unwell to travel in a car.....
"Fingers crossed we don't have any emergencies then."