Mr Walker said: “I can see no logic in closing Lochboisdale, on basis of infection
team report and transferring practice to Liniclate, where the infection team also
reported concerns, more worrying than those reported at Lochboisdale.”
A spokesperson for NHS Western Isles: “Inevitably, it is not possible to fund all
potential improvements and for some, as in the case of Lochboisdale a reasonable,
sustainable, cost effective solution could not be found.
“All our peripheral dental
surgeries are currently undergoing assessment in terms of possible future investment
requirements needing to be brought forward for prioritisation.
“The recent inspections of our clinics in Liniclate and Lochboisdale revealed problems
at both locations. However, whilst Liniclate does require remedial actions, it is
housed in a much more modern building (Liniclate School) and does not suffer from
the underlying problems which afflict Lochboisdale.
“To remedy Lochboisdale would
involve addressing damp, ventilation and heating issues, and lack of space in a building
which cannot ever be fully compliant with the standards required of it. It would
be inappropriate to invest heavily in a clinic which is at the end of its life, particularly
when that investment can only be made at the expense of more suitable clinics.
“NHSWI fully understands that closure is unwelcome, but took the difficult decision
to proceed as no significant improvement could be made to Lochboisdale in an acceptable
“At Liniclate a programme of potential improvements has been prepared,
relating mostly to the non-clinical areas of the premises. NHSWI will now assess
those options as part of our capital planning for 2017/18.
“In terms of developing
local services in the Uists the health board recently spent almost £750,000 investing
in new community equipment store and state of the art scope equipment. Both of these
investments allow people to be cared for closer to home.”
The health board said all dental surgeries are audited against infection prevention
and control measures. Audits were performed in 2014 and 2017. The measures used have
changed between the two audit periods.
Results from audits are not taken, and should not be taken in isolation, said the
Consideration is also given to possible options to remedy any shortfalls
in a cost effective and sustainable manner, it added.
Site visits to surgeries also
form part of any decision making process. Possible dental improvements compete and
are subject to a prioritisation process alongside all other clinical and non-clinical
Uist and Benbecula councillor, Andrew Walker, has challenged the health board’s reasons
for shutting Lochboisdale dental surgery.
Affected patients have been transferred to the facility in Lionacleit, Benbecula.
Lochboisdale was deemed so bad it required effectively instant closure yet inspection
reports suggest the Benbecula surgery is in the same if not worse state.
Issues which risk directly infecting patients scored 0% and hand hygiene also scored
lower at Lionacleit.