This site is to provide information around the Options Appraisal process which is taking place in Portree regarding the future of health and care services for North Skye and Raasay. This is great opportunity for the communities of North Skye & Raasay to be involved in developing a long term sustainable solution to community beds and services in the area from February to April 2020. The process, which is being hosted by independent facilitator, Norman Sutherland from Higher Ground Health and Care,  comprises of three Information sessions followed by three Options Appraisal workshop sessions. All 6 are being held in Portree and will give community representatives; local clinicians, care workers, support staff, emergency services’ representatives, the voluntary sector and senior NHS Highland staff a shared platform to discuss, debate and agree a best way forward for these services together.

These sessions will look at, among other things, the opportunities and challenges in providing community services for people living in extreme remote & rural areas. They will also ensure that everyone involved is aware of current services, current challenges and alternative models that may be worth considering for North Skye specifically. (An Options Appraisal is a technique for reviewing options and analysing the costs and benefits of each one. It helps to ensure informed decision making by providing a formal process based on information and objective evidence.)


The next three sessions will be the actual Options Appraisal workshops - where everyone will come around the table together and work out options, weightings and scorings.

The planned sessions are now cancelled due to Covid '19. The team are working on a new way to move forward with this process

In the meantime, community members will be distributing a questionnaire to gather community thoughts and feedback. Please find the online version of this questionnaire below. Hard copies of the questionnaire are also being distributed around various communities in North Skye. 



The Independent facilitator for this Options Appraisal is Norman Sutherland of Higher Ground Health and Care. 'Higher Ground Health Care Planning Ltd (HGHCP) is an exciting ethical consultancy business that brings together health, social care, emergency services and third sector expertise into a single portfolio consultancy company. It was formed in 2015 by extremely experienced former senior public sector professionals who continue to be driven by a strong commitment to UK

public services and those services internationally that share similar

values and objectives.... We recognise that the future of effective public

sector service provision is joint working, employing a growing team of

dedicated professionals from a range of relevant backgrounds to help

our clients realise this agenda. Our founding team have supported

literally hundreds of relevant projects across the public and private

sectors in the UK and further afield.'

A quote from Norman now that the first 3 Information Sessions are complete ...


"I'd like to thank everyone who has attended the public meetings and planning sessions to date. I believe these were informative and have helped us all develop a better sense of the challenges facing health & social care services in North Skye as well as some of the alternative options available and how we might measure success. I have been particularly impressed by the willingness of the community across Skye to actively engage in the process alongside NHS Highland and am convinced that this active co-production will deliver an exciting future model that addresses the bed and capacity related issues in Sir Lewis Ritchie's report. I also believe that this demonstrates an improving relationship between NHS Highland and the public and look forward to the option appraisal workshops with genuine excitement."