The medical practice in Lochmaddy, North Uist, covers many outlying areas, including Berneray. Here is an account made in 2008 by Dr John Macleod, who practised there from 1974 until 2000 and who had succeeded his father, Dr Alex Macleod, who moved from Applecross in 1932, and his mother, Dr Julia Macleod. Lorna, John’s widow, continued as practice nurse until 2006. This family connection involved many changes in medical techniques and the availability of services – from the development of medicines to the provision of transport, such as the Outer Hebrides Air Ambulance in 1933, and to the innovations for contacting doctors which improved when telephones succeeded messengers and telegrams.
Many people encouraged Herbert Gatliff in his mission to develop the hostels and the creation of the one at Berneray owed much to Dr John Macleod, who died aged 74 in 2009, and to his brother-in-law, the Revd Canon Roger Clifton.