Following National reconfiguration of NHS Trusts on 1 April 1999, Highland Acute Hospitals NHS Trust (HAHT) took over the running of acute services at three sites:
- Raigmore Hospital, Inverness
- Caithness General, Wick
- Belford Hospital, Fort William
HAHT provides acute medical, surgical, maternity, gynaecological and support services in the above hospitals together with outreach clinical services at many other locations in the Highlands, Moray and the Western Isles. It also provides laboratory, pharmacy, artificial limbs and appliances and sterile services to other regional users. It has at Raigmore Hospital, one of Scotland's five recognised cancer centres with radiotherapy, chemotherapy and scanning facilities. It receives tertiary referrals in renal medicine and other specialities, offers abreast screening service and acts as host to visiting services such as plastic surgery, neurosurgery and paediatric cardiology.
The Trust's catchment area comprises the largest and most sparsely populated part of the UK with all the attendant issues of a difficult terrain and a limited transport and communications infrastructure. The area covers almost 10,000 square miles, which represents approximately one third of the Scottish land surface.
The geographical nature of the region presents particular challenges for the efficient and effective delivery of health care services. HAHT is to play a key role in the government's remote and rural resource initiative which has arisen from the Chief Medical Officer's Acute Services Review (published 1998).
The Trust serves a population of some 300 000 residents and sees a proportion of its patients from the influx of tourists to the Highlands at certain times of the year.
The Trust has 737 staffed beds. Approximately 80% of patient activity relates to Raigmore (600 beds) with the balance being split between Belford (51) and Caithness General (86). In total HAHT will annually see and treat approximately 37 000 inpatients, 15 000 day case patients, 44 000 new outpatients and 36 000 accident and emergency attendances. About two thirds of inpatients are admitted as emergencies.
The Trust employs 2900 members of staff in a wide range of professional and support occupations, 2500 of whom are based at Raigmore Hospital.
HAHT has a "no smoking" policy.
The Trust is managed by a Board of Directors and is accountable to the Secretary of State through the NHS in Scotland Management Executive. The Trust Board controls an annual budget of £80 million and is responsible for providing corporate direction and strategic focus to the Trust's operation.
The Trust Board has a close working partnership with Highland Health Board and Primary Care NHS Trust.
Source = Trust Web-Site