I was profoundly saddened to hear of the death by suicide of the GP for the Small Isles, Dr Rachel Weldon. She was based in the Isle of Eigg, but also provided medical cover for the neighbouring islands of Muck, Rum and Canna. Total population of the four islands is about 170; the archipelago is situated some 15 miles southwest of Mallaig, to the south of the Isle of Skye.
The media are reporting that the GP had been convicted of a drink-driving offence at Fort William earlier this year, which had carried a sentence of a fine and a driving ban. Although the news reports carry the two events in the one headline, a causal link cannot and should not be assumed, unless proven otherwise. I know the Small Isles quite well, and realise that the loss of the GP in such tragic circumstances will come as a body blow. I briefly met Dr Weldon on one of my last visits to the island, back in 2004.
The communities of the Small Isles as well as Dr Weldon's family and friends are in my thoughts today.