Vision and Values

Our vision is that by 2020 the people of the Western Isles will be living longer, healthier lives at home, or in a homely setting. We will have an integrated health and social care system, which focuses on preventing ill-health, anticipating care needs and supporting recovery.

We will work with people and communities to develop a framework of mutual responsibility for health and wellbeing, framing the rights and responsibilities that we all have as residents of the Western Isles.

Our care will be delivered by integrated teams, with the traditional roles of health and social care professionals changing and adapting over time to meet the needs of the population. Care will be provided to the highest standards of quality and safety, with the person who uses our services at the centre of all decisions. We will seek to personalise support arrangements, to maximise people's ability to exercise choice and control over the lives they lead. We will build on the support arrangements and assets that people have in their lives and support unpaid carers as equal partners in care.

We will prioritise support for people to stay at home or in a homely setting as long as this is appropriate, and avoid the need for unplanned or emergency admission to hospital wherever possible. When hospital treatment is required, and cannot be provided in a community setting, there will be a focus on ensuring that people get back into their home or community environment as soon as appropriate, with minimal risk of re-admission. Lengthy hospital stays will become a thing of the past.

Health and social care services will be planned and delivered as locally as possible. This means the day-to-day services that people rely on to support their personal independence will be organised and coordinated within localities. We will increasingly operate our local services from health and social care hubs, which bring together a range of services within a single campus. Other services, which people use more periodically to sustain their independence, or which require highly specialised input, will operate across localities or will be provided in centres of expertise on the mainland.

Caring for more people in the community will result in a shift in resources from hospitals to community-based care. This shift will be recognised as a positive improvement in the quality of our services, progress towards our vision and therefore the kind of service change we expect to see.


Image of family playing on beach in Western Isles

Our Values

Health and Care Western Isles abides by the values of partnership, collaboration and cooperation across NHS Western Isles, Comhairle Nan Eilean Siar, the third and private sectors.

We subscribe to a set of values based on the human rights of the people who use our services, including:

  • Respect for the inherent dignity and worth of all individuals.
  • Promotion of individual autonomy including the freedom and support to make one’s own choices.
  • Support to ensure full and effective participation and inclusion in society.
  • Respect for difference and a desire to respond to individual needs.
  • Equal access to resources, services, information and opportunity.

We will strive to ensure that our services are focused on improving personal outcomes and which are focused on the capacity of service users to make autonomous decisions and lead purposeful lives. Our role is to make best use of personal capabilities, assets, family, and community.

We also hold to the principle of subsidiarity, which holds that services should planned and led locally in a way that engages with the community