Western Isles

Western Isles Health Board

Service commenced

April 2007

Total board population


Urban / rural split

0% / 100%

Specialist HF nurse WTE posts

2 WTE (3 staff)

Further details

(Actual number of staff)2008 - 2 WTE (3 staff)
SIGN Ratio1:13,095 (2008 1:13,075)
Ave. caseload per post120 (community)
Individual patients managed by service (average year)240 patients
Service Provision Home visits 30% / Hospital Clinic 40% / Community Clinic 30%
Provision for HF-PEFNo
Administration support per week22.5 hours (across service)
Providing education to non-specialist staffNo
Doctor with specialist interest in Heart Failure1 GPwSI
Cardiac Rehabilitation available/number seenYes - 20 patients per annum
Access to psychological support referral pathwayNone

Notes on current service provision

Patients are spread unevenly across the island chain with sparse population in remote and rural areas, particularly the southern isles (Uists & Barra). Many patients are in hard to reach remote areas requiring long journeys (including ferries) to home visit or clinic setting.

Funding in comparison to 2008

Substantive funding now in place for 2 WTE posts, following initial BHF funded period. BHF funded Healthcare Assistant pilot (over 2 years) post not continued.


Elderly demographic plus remote/rural setting results in higher than ‘usual’ number of visits required. Cardiac rehabilitation access through Change Fund initiative for 2 years and substantive funding not confirmed from NHS.

Development opportunities

We are fortunate to have access to BNP testing (community only) but we may lose this facility as it is being reviewed due to costs. Support from the Scottish National Advanced Heart Failure Service via Tele-link, which is invaluable for the more complex cases.