Forbes calls for hospital probe after Skye festival death

Portree
Skye Live was held in Portree at the weekend [Getty Images]

Deputy First Minister Kate Forbes has called for an investigation into emergency medical provision on Skye after a woman died at a music festival.

An ambulance was sent shortly before midnight on Saturday after the woman took unwell at Portree's Skye Live festival.

Ms Forbes said she was "hugely concerned" by reports that emergency access to Portree Community Hospital was limited at the time.

NHS Highland said ambulance crews had responded to the incident, but declined to give further comment due to patient confidentiality.

Campaigners have called for improvements to Portree hospital services, that were previously recommended in a review six years ago.

These include out-of-hours urgent care being available 24 hours a day, all week.

Ms Forbes said she was saddened by the death and thanked emergency services involved.

However, she said she was "hugely concerned by reports that during a medical emergency, access to Portree hospital was limited for vital life-saving equipment".

She said: "This is extremely serious if so."

"My first aim is to get all the facts so that I understand precisely what happened, and secondly there must be accountability."

Ms Forbes said she had asked NHS Highland to investigate medical provision in north Skye, and had raised the weekend's incident with the Scottish Ambulance Service (SAS) and Health Secretary Neil Gray.

Kate Forbes
Deputy First Minister Kate Forbes is MSP for Skye, Lochaber and Badenoch [Getty Images]

Ms Forbes said: "The full implementation of the Sir Lewis Ritchie report recommendations is something local campaigners and I have been pushing for some time now.

"Enough is enough. It has been six years, and the timescales for delivering the recommendations keeps shifting.

"North Skye in particular needs to know there is resilience and confidence in their local health service."

The festival was held over Thursday, Friday and Saturday and attended by about 1,000 people from Skye and further afield.

The event featured Scottish Traditional, folk and indie-folk music.

'We are heartbroken'

NHS Highland said the SAS attended Saturday's incident and, also another medical emergency in Portree at the weekend.

A spokesman said the SAS had been helped by an off-duty nurse and a doctor sent from Broadford Hospital, which is 25 miles from Portree.

The spokesman said: "Emergency care is available 24/7 by contacting 999 in the event of a life-threatening emergency."

The health board said non-emergency out-of-hours urgent care was available at Portree hospital by appointment on Saturdays, Sundays, and bank holidays from 08:30 to 19:30.

Skye Live told BBC Scotland News: “We are heartbroken by the tragic incident that occurred at our festival.

"Our thoughts are with the person’s loved ones, and we continue to cooperate fully with the authorities."

Police Scotland said the woman's death was not thought to be suspicious.

A spokesperson said officers' inquiries were continuing and a report would be sent to the procurator fiscal.