New-build could be part of NHS vision for Bute

The Victoria Hospital in Rothesay.
The Victoria Hospital in Rothesay.

A brand new facility, providing all NHS functions for Bute on a single site, could form part of a major redesign of health service provision on the island.

A ‘Bute Health Services Redesign Steering Group’ has been set up to look at how NHS services should be provided locally in the years to come.

The group meets under the chairmanship of Jane Williams, recently appointed as Bute locality manager for the new Argyll and Bute health and social care partnership, which begins work on April 1.

One member of the steering group is Bute Commmunity Council convener Grace Strong, who told BCC’s March meeting this week: “Lots of things are considered not fit for purpose any more - and I mean buildings rather than services.

“We may, possibly, be eventually looking at a new build. The ideal vision for the future would be to have something like the school campus, with everything provided on one site. But it’s not going to happen tomorrow.”

The ideal of building new NHS facilities on Bute is not an original one: a replacement for the town’s Victoria Hospital, which opened in 1897, was part of the ‘wish-list’ of the former Argyll and Clyde health board, but the idea has not been revisited since that board was abolished in 2006 after running up debts of £80 million.

* More on this story in the next edition of The Buteman - on sale from Thursday, March 24.