Thanks to a partnership between the Isle of Bute Trust and For Bute, a shelter which provides cover for ambulance transfers has been handed back to the community.
The shelter, which will allow patients to be transferred from one ambulance to the other on Rothesay Pier under cover and in privacy, was officially opened on Thursday morning.
The idea for the shelter came from Bute Community Council. Previously, when patients were being transferred to hospital on the mainland the local ambulance would take the patient to Rothesay Pier where it met the mainland ambulance. The patient, usually on a trolley, would then be transferred to the other vehicle with the exercise taking place in all weather conditions and in view of waiting vehicle traffic.
Following discussions with Argyll and Bute Council to lease an area of land for the shelter to be built on (opposite the linkspan), work on the structure began last month by local firm, Bute Blacksmiths.
Representatives from Isle of Bute Trust, For Bute, Bute Community Council, the Scottish Ambulance Service, and Rothesay Harbour were all in attendance for the handover.
The shelter, when not being used by ambulance staff, will also serve to provide cover for passengers waiting to board PS Waverley, and for cyclists heading off on the Rothesay-Wemyss Bay ferry.
A council spokesman said: “We were pleased to lease the area of ground to the Isle of Bute Trust to allow the shelter to be built. This will obviously improve circumstances for patients.
“We are fully supportive of this initiative.”
Isle of Bute Trust chairman, Alisdair Johnston, said: “The handover of the shelter represents the culmination of 14 months of detailed project management.
“There were a fair number of bureaucratic hurdles to be jumped over – and this has been successfully done. I would like to commend everyone involved in this initiative, particularly For Bute, who put up about 40 percent of the funding, the team at Bute Blacksmiths, who were forward-leaning in getting us the best solution, and of course the community, whose support kept us focused.
“Now the shelter is operational, I would hope that it is used as rarely as possible by your readers.”