A clinic to help patients in Moray who suffer from chronic pain is to be restored at Dr Gray’s Hospital by the end of the year.
That is the pledge that emerged from a meeting between Moray’s MSP Richard Lochhead and the interim Chief Executive of NHS Grampian, Malcolm Wright.
Mr Lochhead said ahead of the meeting last month that he had learned from constituents that Moray patients were having to undergo long journeys to the Aberdeen Royal Infirmary for treatment since the closure of the chronic pain unit in Moray.
He said: “Clearly it is not good enough for anyone to have to cope with significant chronic pain without access to adequate support close to home.
“Sadly, there are instances of people ‘slipping through the net’ and I pledged to raise this issue in a bid to rectify the situation.”
Now the meeting with Malcom Wright and NHS Grampian chairman Stephen Logan has produced a pledge to restore the clinic at Dr Gray’s by December – as well as providing a third accident and emergency consultant for the hospital, with that vacancy being advertised this week.
Welcoming the decision Mr Lochhead said: “I very much welcome the commitment the new management team have given to delivering good NHS services in Moray and ensuring that Dr Gray’s receives the resources it requires to allow staff to do their job.
“I am hopeful that progress will be made on a number of specific pressures that impact both staff and services – from needing more clinics to be held by area-based consultants in Elgin to filling some of the vacancies that have been unfilled for far too long.”
Mr Wright meanwhile pledged that NHS Grampian would continue to be “committed to sustaining an important service at Dr Gray’s”. He said: “I think it is fair to say that Dr Gray’s as a hospital performs well – in terms of A&E attendances, in terms of discharges and in terms of patient safety.”
Mr Lochhead also confirmed that the future of Leanchoil Hospital in Forres had been discussed, the MSP saying he had reiterated that people in Forres felt it important to retain hospital beds in the town.