Local News for Friday 25th March 2016

Inspection report shows work needed
Services for older people in the Western Isles need ‘significant improvement’ according to a report published this week by the Care Inspectorate and Healthcare Improvement Scotland. A joint inspection in April and June last year looked at how well the health and social work services partnership between NHS Western Isles and Comhairle nan Eilean Siar were working. This week’s report from the inspectors listed some positives, but also outlined crucial areas for improvement. Of nine key areas, inspectors rated only one as ‘good’ and five as ‘adequate’. Three indicators were evaluated as weak and the report contains twelve recommendations for improvement. The report comes just a few days ahead of new working arrangements under an Integrated Joint Board, which takes over the reins on health and social care from April 1st. They’ll be faced with addressing what the report called "important weaknesses” including delayed discharge from hospital and long waits for home care support or a place at a care home. Early diagnosis of dementia and support to carers also needed to be improved, but the report said front-line health and social work staff were well motivated and worked well together.

Read more: Local News for Friday 25th March 2016

Local News for Thursday 24th March 2016

Police advice on terrorism – be vigilant
Police Scotland has issued a general warning to travellers throughout Scotland, following terrorist attacks in Belgium this week. Assistant Chief Constable Ruaraidh Nicolson said: “Police Scotland is committed to ensuring all communities across the country are as safe as they can be and I would ask the public, especially around crowded places and transport hubs, to remain vigilant and alert, but not alarmed. If you suspect something is wrong, then report it to the police. There is no specific information which suggests Scotland is at risk of attack. However, the UK threat level remains at Severe and our communities are not immune from the threat posed by terrorists. I encourage people to go about their business as normal but remain vigilant.”

Read more: Local News for Thursday 24th March 2016

Local News for Wednesday 23rd March 2016

Library café closes tomorrow
Stornoway’s popular and bustling library coffee shop will close tomorrow for good, just a month after councillors agreed to seek alternatives to closure during the budget-setting process. Following February’s round of meetings, the Comhairle announced that the loss-making coffee shop would be offered as a franchise, instead of being closed. Now two staff have taken voluntary redundancy, and two are being redeployed within the council, the coffee shop closing its doors tomorrow afternoon. Coffee shop manager June Lafferty said: “It’s a real shame and people are gutted, because it’s a great service right in the middle of the town. It’s a meeting place for many, especially the older folk. There’s a chance it will re-open as a franchise operation but I don’t expect that to happen.”

Read more: Local News for Wednesday 23rd March 2016

Local News for Tuesday 22nd March 2016

Satellite the answer to slow broadband
A new UK government scheme has been announced which offers satellite connection to homes and businesses with poor broadband speeds. UK Minister Ed Vaizey announced the scheme yesterday, saying that up to 300,000 customers in remote areas of Scotland can get a discounted satellite broadband connection, if they are currently unable to obtain an affordable broadband service of at least two megabytes per second. To be eligible, you must live in Scotland, and must be unable to receive a broadband connection speed of more than 2Mbps from the BT Openreach network. The offer is only applicable if survey work has not already started to deliver fibre-based broadband to your property.  More information on the operation of the scheme in Scotland can be found on the broadband programme website by following the link on the Isles FM Facebook page.

Read more: Local News for Tuesday 22nd March 2016

Local News for Friday 18th March 2016

St Kilda Swimmers team of the year!
The St Kilda Swim Team were crowned 'Team of the Year' at the National Adventure Awards ceremony, in Glasgow this week. Swim team captain Colin S Macleod and swimmer John Dyer were presented with the award as part of the National Adventure Awards, celebrating the most adventurous across the UK. The team were among seven shortlisted in the category , after their epic swim from St Kilda to Harris last August. The team took only 35 hours to finish a swim that had been postponed three times, due to bad weather, and became the first to swim the 60 miles of North Atlantic. Seven swimmers, three kayakers and a support boat crew made the charity challenge a huge fundraising success too, with donations to four charities after the event. John Dyer said: “I am so proud of all the St Kilda Swim Team and a big shout out to all our friends and families for the support and encouragement.”

Read more: Local News for Friday 18th March 2016