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Community votes on future health care

NHS Orkney has revealed the results of the recent postal vote on future health care by residents on Rousay, Egilsay, Wyre and Gairsay.

Voluntary Action Orkney co-ordinated the count of the 123 voting slips returned by the 22 December deadline, with an overwhelming 70% (86 votes) voting in favour of Option B.

A total of 220 voting slips were sent out to residents. Two votes received after the deadline were not counted.

Option B, which involves a General Practitioner and Community Nurse service on Rousay, will now be presented to NHS Orkney's Corporate Management Team "as the preferred model to be implemented", with the team next due to meet on Tuesday 18 January. The alternative, Option A, was based on a Nurse Practitioner and GP model.

Since the departure of the last permanent, full-time, resident doctor in 2007, the community has been served by a series of temporary/locum GPs. Although providing a similar type of cover, and with the continued assistance of a resident, community nurse, the community has suffered from a lack of continuity of care.

Rousay, Egilsay, Wyre and Gairsay Community Council has been in constant dialogue with NHS Orkney over the last few years, as both seek to achieve a sustainable solution for future health care on the four islands. This prolonged consultation culminated in two public meetings to discuss options - held on Rousay in the summer of 2010 - and the setting up of a 'Working Group'. This volunteer group of local residents played a vital part in creating a 'final document' and voting slip suitable for distribution to the wider community.

NHS Orkney has stated that it hopes to continue liasing with the Working Group to recruit a GP to the island.

11:04 16/01/2011