We were delighted to attend the opening of the new £1 million Cill Chuimein Medical Centre in Fort Augustus on Wednesday 10 April, which received funding from our Millennium Wind Farm.
Mairi Gougeon, Minister for Rural Affairs and the Natural Environment, opened the state of the art medical facility which was delivered by the Fort Augustus and Glenmoriston Community Company after a fire destroyed the original centre in 2015.
The Community Company took on the design and build of the centre, safeguarding the GP service for the area, without which local residents would have to make a 60-mile round trip to seek standard medical care.
Together with us, the project benefitted from a he a range of funders including the Scottish Government’s Scottish Land Fund, SSE Renewables and The Highland Council. The medical centre is double the original size and now houses 4 consulting rooms and 2 treatment rooms, with a lift making the centre accessible to all.
Harry Whiteside, Chair of Fort Augustus and Glenmoriston Community Company said: “It’s been a very busy two years securing funding, co-ordinating with the NHS, tendering the work and generally project managing but we’re absolutely thrilled to have made it to today.
“Having the new medical centre, and all the benefits it brings, will truly help support our community and we would like to thank all of our funders and, of course our local community, without whom this facility would never have been able to be built.”
The new, larger facility will house up to 10 long-term members of staff and the additional rooms mean services can be expanded into podiatry and optometry, as well as offering the ability to take on a new trainee GP.
The medical centre will also be at the forefront of a new innovative pilot, called Near Me, which allows patients in rural areas to have contact with consultants or specialists at Raigmore Hospital in Inverness via a secure video conferencing facility.