The Outer Hebridean Isles of Lewis, Harris, Uist, Benbecula and Barra lie off the northwest coast of Scotland in the Atlantic Ocean. Rugged and wind-swept, they are characterised by stark beauty and great contrasts, peat moors and rocky mountains, white sandy beaches and steep cliffs.
Scattered throughout the countryside are villages and crofting townships. Although most of the crofts are no longer worked, the crofters retain the traditional way of life, conversing freely in the rich Gaelic language. Working at home, they weave Harris Tweed and have time to grow potatoes, raise sheep and cut peat. Stornoway, the administrative capital, has a fine natural harbour and is the centre of the Harris Tweed and fishing industries.
The harshness of the land has motivated a high rate of emigration. Over successive generations, many young people have left the island in search of economic opportunities. As a result, families are smaller and there is a large population of elderly people. This has had a profound effect on the ability of relatives to cope with the needs of the sick and the aged
Special Palliative Care in a Relaxed Homely Atmosphere. Bethesda is a well-equipped clinical unit, but every effort has been made to avoid a clinical appearance. The rooms are fresh and bright, and overlook a beatifully landscaped garden.
We regard each patient as a whole person with many needs - physical, emotional, spiritual and social - and staff are given the training and time to take care of the whole family, not just the patient.
Often a series of short stays at Bethesda is the best way to benefit from the specialist physical and emotional support provided. This way we can "care for the carers" as well as demonstrate our skill in symptom control.