Amazing 43 stones shifted! ‘It takes 3 to shift a stone’ competition success

The “It takes 3 to shift a stone (3 mates, 3 months, 3 million steps)weight loss competition was launched in February 2017. Teams of three people have been encouraged to aim for a sensible weight loss to achieve a healthy BMI through the support of friends, family and team members, with the goal of losing one stone each over three months. The team who, after one year, have lost and maintained the highest weight loss will win vouchers.

38 teams, 114 people in total, from the Butt to Barra signed up and 65 of them attended the three month weigh-in. The combined weight loss of all 65 people is a fantastic 604 lbs – which is just over 43 stone. This is an incredible achievement by all who are taking part. Nearly half of them have lost 5% of their weight, reducing their risk to develop heart disease, diabetes and some cancers.

Continue reading

Incredible results for ‘Walk 500 Miles Step Count Challenge’: Benefits of walking in Outer Hebrides this summer

Walking is the simple way to increase your physical activity levels. It’s an all round great activity for all ages and fitness levels, which can improve your health, help you lose weight, make you feel good and most importantly it’s free!

The ‘Walk 500 Miles Step Count Challenge’, launched by NHS Western Isles’ Health Promotion Department and Comhairle nan Eilean Siar’s Sport and Health Division on 5th May, encouraged both individuals and teams of three from the Butt to Barra aged 18 years and over to participate.

Through a Bronze, Silver and Gold challenge, individuals or teams of three could choose to walk a total of 7,500, 10,000 or 12,500 steps a day. Continue reading

NHS Western Isles partners with Argos for a Healthy Start

Check your Argos till receipts!


NHS Western Isles has launched a new campaign to raise awareness of the Healthy Start scheme for pregnant women and families of young children up to four years old.


In association with Argos, every time a purchase is made, buyers will receive their till receipts carrying a colourful eye-catching promotion for the Healthy Start scheme.

The Healthy Start scheme was set up to ensure pregnant women, new mothers and young children, particularly those living on low incomes, can get free healthy foods and supplements. There are two separate entitlements: vitamins and vouchers. Continue reading

Cairdean Og Allt Nan Gall receive Health Promotion presentations

Staff from the Health Promotion Department (Karen Peteranna and Norma Macleod) yesterday provided presentations on mental health and physical activity to a group of 30 people from the Point over 60’s friendship club (Cairdean og Allt nan Gall) in Ionad Stoodie, Garrabost.

If your local older people group would be interested in finding out more or would like to request a visit, please contact Health Promotion by telephoning (01851) 762017

Join in with the Big Fit Walk 2017!

The Big Fit Walk – Lewis, Harris and Uist Walks during June

Paths for All is a charity that champions everyday walking in Scotland and they are inviting people across the country to join them in the Big Fit Walk this June!

The Big Fit Walk is open to everyone – absolutely everyone! It is a fun, free walk celebrating unique local heritage this year.

Health Promotion has organized three Big Fit Walks across the Outer Hebrides:

LEWIS – Monday 26th June 2017
Starting from: Lews Castle Grounds, Porters Lodge, Stornoway
Time: 6pm

HARRIS: Thursday 29th June 2017
Starting from: Visit Scotland office, Tarbert
Time: 6pm

UISTS – Thursday 29th June 2017
Starting from: Sgoil Lionacleit car park, Lionacleit
Time: 10.15 am

All welcome.

National Breastfeeding Celebration Week: Changing the conversation around breastfeeding and culture

National Celebration Week ran from 19th – 23rd June and NHS Western Isles joined the celebrations around the Western Isles to promote the benefits of breastfeeding.

Led by the Maternal and Infant Nutrition group, the campaign aims to bring the conversation about breastfeeding to the fore and highlight the benefits to both babies and mothers. As well as having all the vitamins and nutrients that baby needs, breast milk also contains disease-fighting substances. Breastfeeding is also beneficial to mum – as well as being convenient and environmentally friendly it can help mum return to her previous shape and reduce the risks of some diseases.

Public stands were set up in Western Isles Hospital, Uist and Barra hospital and Stornoway Library. Pictured is the Western Isles Hospital display, with some of the midwifery team. Continue reading

Walk 500 miles this summer!

Walk 500 Miles Photo Launch: Pictured (L-R) Karen Peteranna, NHSWI Health Improvement Practitioner, Tony Wade, CnES Lews Sports Centre Manager, and Norma MacLeod, NHSWI Healthy Working Lives Coordinator.

Walk 500 Miles Photo Launch: Pictured (L-R) Karen Peteranna, NHSWI Health Improvement Practitioner, Tony Wade, CnES Lews Sports Centre Manager, and Norma MacLeod, NHSWI Healthy Working Lives Coordinator.

Imagine being able to say YOU walked 500 miles this summer!  Well, here is an opportunity to do just that. 

NHS Western Isles’ Health Promotion Department and Comhairle nan Eilean Siar’s Sport and Health Division invite you to register for the Walk 500 Miles step count challenge for individuals or teams of 3 from the Butt to Barra aged 18 years and over.  Registration is now open until 4th May 2017 with the challenge starting on Friday 5th May 2017.

Individuals and teams of 3 can choose a step challenge that suits them:

  • The Bronze 500 is for participants who wish to aim for 7,500 steps per day
  • The Silver 500 is for participants who wish to aim for 10,000 steps per day, and
  • The Gold 500 is for participants who wish to aim for 12,500 steps per day

Continue reading

Virtual Training Session for Workplaces

2013-03-21 - Virtual Training ImageA ‘virtual training session’ took place between NHS Western Isles, NHS Highland and NHS Grampian on 15th March offering employers in these areas the opportunity to attend Mentally Healthy Workplace training.

NHS Highland and NHS Grampian had previously been unable to offer this training and following discussions between Boards, it was suggested to pilot a session using jabber running the training from NHS Western Isles and linking up with six participants in Inverness and four in Aberdeen.

Facilitators were present in all areas to ensure the training ran smoothly and after a few initial teething problems, the session went well with all areas participating and feeling included in the training. Feedback was positive and future sessions are now being being planned as a result.

Smokefree Hebrides Christmas Surprise Visit

2016-12-20 - Smokefree Hebrides Surprise VisitorsSmokefree Hebrides was delighted to receive a surprise visit from three of their successful quitters on Friday 16th December.

Angus Campbell (Stornoway), Malcolm Campbell (Stornoway) and Murdo Fraser (Aignish) arrived at the Smokefree Hebrides offices at Laxdale Court, to offer their thanks for the support received on their quit smoking journey.  All three men have now been quit for several years and are overjoyed by this.

Joanne O’Donnell, Smokefree Hebrides Coordinator said, “Angus and Malcolm who are brothers and friends with Murdo, have all been such wonderful supporters of our service.  They have actively promoted and encouraged others to take up the offer of quit smoking support, stating how it was much easier than they had imagined and that the benefits speak for themselves.  In fact the men were our “Poster Boys” for the Western Isles No Smoking Day campaigns held in 2015 and 2016, creating great interest on social media encouraging other quitters to join our gallery.” Continue reading

It takes 3 to shift a stone – 3 mates, 3 months, 3 million steps

2016-12-20 - It Takes 3 poster “It takes 3 to shift a stone” is a weight loss competition being launched in February 2017 to help you to lose weight and keep it off!

We all know that faddy diets and yo-yo dieting is not recommended as a sensible long-lasting way in keeping lost weight off.

By taking part in ‘It takes 3 to shift a stone’ you will be encouraged to achieve a sensible gradual weight loss – you may lose 1 stone in just 3 months by losing an average 1-2lb per week and keep it off.  This gradual weight loss is far easier to achieve and maintain than losing a lot of weight in a short time.

The competition, organised by NHS Western Isles and held over 12 months, will help you to reap those weight loss rewards through the support of friends and family as team members.  Continue reading

NHS Western Isles is leading the way to a Tobacco-Free Generation

2016-12-20 - Tobacco-free Charter signatureNeil Galbraith, Chair of NHS Western Isles, was today proud to endorse Scotland’s Charter for a Tobacco Free Generation.

The Charter for a Tobacco-free Generation is an initiative by health charity Action on Smoking and Health Scotland to help deliver a tobacco-free generation by 2034 (by this we mean less than 5% of the population still smokes). The Charter inspires organisations to take action to reduce the harm caused by tobacco.

NHS Western Isles is joining an esteemed list of over one hundred organisations that have already backed the Charter including: British Lung Foundation, Early Years Scotland, Scottish Cot Death Trust and Fife College.

This move to endorse the Charter highlights NHS Western Isles forward-thinking policy in relation to tobacco. The Charter is in keeping with the Health Board’s aim of encouraging the whole health care community to help reduce the harm caused by tobacco. Continue reading

Have you got your Vitamin D this winter?

PharmacistNHS Western Isles is reminding individuals to ensure they are getting enough Vitamin D, especially during the winter season.

Vitamin D is important for pregnant and breastfeeding women and for young children – and is available free of charge for these groups.  Adults are also recommended to take a single daily Vitamin D supplement, whilst for older adults, a single daily Vitamin D supplement with added calcium may be recommended to protect against Osteoporosis.

Vitamin D is essential for healthy bones and a lack of Vitamin D may lead to health problems.  Vitamin D is known to be important for good overall health and strong and healthy bones (specifically Vitamin D3 which increases the body’s ability to absorb calcium); it is also an important factor in ensuring muscles, heart, lungs and brain work well and in helping the body to fight infection. Continue reading

Keeping our children smoke-free in cars

2016-11-22 - Keeping our children smoke-free in cars imageFrom 05 December 2016, the law has changed to protect babies, children and young people up to 18 years old from exposure to tobacco smoke in cars.  From that date, smoking in a vehicle containing anyone under 18 will be against the law.

The new legislation has been introduced to protect children and young people from the harm caused by second hand smoke, which can put them at increased risk of serious conditions such as bronchitis, pneumonia and asthma.

Latest research highlights that the toxic particles in second hand smoke can reach harmful concentrations within a minute of lighting a cigarette in a car.  Continue reading

MEN’S 5K: Saturday 19th November

mens-5k-posterThe annual MEN’S 5K helps raise valuable funds for our local Hebridean Men’s Cancer Support Group and will be held on Saturday 19th November starting from the Stornoway Castle Green at 10.30am (with registration from 10am).

To view/download the entry form simply click here.

MEN’S 5K is the opportunity for men and boys aged over 12, to raise awareness of male cancers.  It doesn’t matter if you’re a couch potato or a marathon elite, walk, jog or run – you can do this – and help raise funds to fight male cancers.

The Hebridean Men’s Cancer Support Group makes significant contributions to men, and their families, who are living with, or are affected by cancer in the Western Isles.

The future is always unexpected, but with such a group working tirelessly in the Western Isles for our benefit, we can only wish them well and encourage them on their journey.

Success for Localised Vitamin D Films!

vitamin-d-film-how-do-i-getCLICK HERE TO VIEW FILMS

“Fun and quirky” were the words used to describe the three localised short films recently launched to raise awareness of the importance of Vitamin D in childhood.

Featuring local children and adults from the Butt to Barra, the films were created by NHS Western Isles to bring some playfulness to an otherwise unexciting subject, with some light-hearted and humorous results.

Using adults whose voices are dubbed by children, each of the films delivers its own Vitamin D message: The importance of Vitamin D; How do I get my Vitamin D?; and The Healthy Start Scheme. Continue reading

S’mashin Saturday Club

S'mashin Saturday ClubThe S’mashin Saturday Club is a monthly group for young people aged 11-20 years with learning disabilities that focuses on art and physical activity.  The group meets on the last Saturday of the month in different venues, usually from 2-4pm, with staff supporting from different agencies.

Sports, visual arts, music, outdoor activities, bowling, cinema, water sports etc. are some of the activities on offer. It costs £2 per session and a snack is provided. If you would like your son/daughter to become a member or you would like further details, please contact Valerie Russell, at Action for Children 01851 705 080 or email:

For further information on Health Promotion involvement contact Isabel Steele, Senior Health Promotion Officer.

Bronze Award for Angus Mackay & Sons

Angus Mackay & Sons (Back) - Bronze AwardCongratulations to Angus Mackay & Sons (Back) who are the first construction company to have worked on the Healthy Working Lives award programme and achieved the Bronze Award for their work in promoting health and safety with their staff.

Pictured is Chrissie Macdonald from Angus Mackay & Sons (left) being presented with their certificate by Norma MacLeod (right), NHSWI’s Healthy Working Lives Advisor.

Qinetic Training - Mental health and stress awareness - Aug 16Pictured is the last block of QinetiQ employees who took part in the Mental Health & Stress awareness training provided by Norma Macleod, Healthy Working Lives Advisor, and Alison MacDonald, Senior Health Promotion Officer.

The series of training and awareness sessions for staff and managers was held during March to July 2016 and is designed to encourage good practice in promoting positive mental health and well-being, offering managers a broad awareness of mental health and identifying key factors that contribute to a mentally healthy workplace. Continue reading