NHS Highland is offering patients surgery in other locations across the organisation in a bid to reduce the time they are waiting for their procedure.
As they work their way through the backlog of high priority cancer and urgent operations that has built up as a result of the COVID pandemic, waiting times for some day case surgical procedures at Raigmore Hospital are much longer than they would like them to be.
To help reduce the wait being experienced by patient’s other hospital sites within NHS Highland will be offered as an option to patients in order to treat them more quickly.
Dr Boyd Peters, Medical Director for NHS Highland, said:
“We have already been offering newly referred patients a choice of hospital for their surgical procedure and will now be writing to patients who are already waiting for a procedure at Raigmore to also offer them that same opportunity.
“All of our hospitals offer the same high levels of care and treatment for these procedures, and some will have much shorter waiting times than Raigmore.
“We know some people will have concerns about travelling for surgery but I would like to reassure everyone that a clinical assessment will take place before any change of hospital.
“We will also offer information about our travel expenses policy, to help with the costs of travel and accommodation.”
Patients will be given a choice of attending the following hospitals for their procedure:
Caithness General Hospital, Wick
Belford Hospital, Fort William
Lorn and Islands Hospital, Oban
Any site or combination of the above
This option is not available to all specialities / procedures as some will still need to be carried out at Raigmore Hospital.