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Health Secretary opens Lochalsh Healthcare Centre

Issued: 27 Aug 2008

The new Lochalsh Healthcare Centre has been officially opened by Deputy First Minister and Cabinet Secretary for Health and Wellbeing Nicola Sturgeon.

The purpose-built Healthcare Centre is home to up to 50 staff including a GP practice and two dental surgeries. Over time the new facilities and additional staff will allow NHS Highland to expand access to NHS dentistry to an additional 1000 people. The Centre also provides a base for district nurses, midwives, the Community Mental Health Team, physiotherapist, speech and language therapist, occupational therapist, learning disability team and public health practitioner. The Centre replaces a number of buildings which were no longer fit for purpose.

Health Secretary Nicola Sturgeon said:

"Lochalsh Healthcare Centre is a great example of collaborative working to provide a range of vital health services under one roof.

"I'm particularly pleased to see the expanded and upgraded dental facilities which are a clear indication that our drive to increase NHS dental provision in the Highlands is now starting to bear fruit.

"I'm sure both patients and staff will welcome the fantastic new building which has been designed to fit into its surroundings and ensures that healthcare facilities in Kyle are now fit for the 21st century."

The Cabinet Secretary met with staff and toured the Centre's many consultation and treatment rooms including several equipped to support staff caring for patients with special needs. On the dental floor there is a Soft Treatment Room which has small sofas and a low sink - an environment which is ideal for teaching very young children how to prevent tooth decay.

Ms Sturgeon's visit to open the £3.2million pounds building is commemorated on a plaque in both English and Gaelic in line with all signage in the building. Funding for the bilingual signs has come from Bord na Gaidhlig. She was also introduced to pupils from Plockton High School who have been commissioned to provide a mural for the patient waiting room with funding from Kyle Community Council. Local artists have donated pieces for display throughout the building.

Ms Sturgeon was welcomed to the building by local managers and NHS Highland Chair Garry Coutts.

He said: "I'm delighted we've been able to fulfil our commitment to a new health centre for Kyle. This will greatly improve the environment in which patients are seen and staff work. A lot of care and consideration has gone into the building and I'd like to thank everyone involved in its design and construction for their efforts and the community for their support."

The Lochalsh Healthcare Centre has been designed to fit into its location in the heart of Kyle. It is tucked into a hillside site which provides two ground floors. Architects Wittets say the building includes 85 doors, 95 windows, 74.56 tonnes of steel, 787 square metres of slate, 685 metres of larch timber cladding and 3,681 square metres of concrete block.

© 2010 Highland Public Services Partnership.
Project part-financed by the European Union (European Regional Development Fund) within the INTERREG IIIB Northern Periphery Programme