Fresh doubts cast over the future of Leanchoil Community Hospital

Serious doubt remains over the future of Leanchoil Hospital.
Serious doubt remains over the future of Leanchoil Hospital.

THE FUTURE OF Leanchoil Hospital in Forres is in serious doubt following an exchange between Moray MSP Richard Lochhead and the Chief Executive of NHS Grampian.

Mr Lochhead sought clarity after the future of the hospital, which has been in some doubt for several years, was raised by a constituent.

In response to a subsequent letter from Mr Lochhead, the Chief Executive said that activity at the community hospital had “diminished significantly” following the completion of the new health centre in Forres.

it was confirmed that just nine inpatient beds were in use at Leanchoil leaving the rest of the facility unused. However, NHS Grampian have stressed that there is a continued to be a high quality of care provided, adding that while they were looking at alternatives in the town the same level of care would need to be proven before any decisions are made.

NHS Grampian also clarified that they are not currently in the position to progress any change and that they will be embarking on opportunities to engage with the local community in the hope that a mutual decision can be made about the hospital to provide a good health and care system for the people of Forres.

Mr Lochhead said: “The future of Leanchoil has often been raised with me by constituents from Forres and the surrounding area and this is a matter I have raised with NHS Grampian on a number of occasions over the years.

“Indeed, this is the first time that NHS Grampian has informed me that they will be looking at alternative options to provide inpatient care within a modern setting.

“As is often the case, I am aware that there will be mixed views on this issue and I am therefore pleased to note that NHS Grampian has committed to engaging with the local community to consider future arrangements.

“I would encourage anyone with a view on the matter to make it known to NHS Grampian. I will continue to pay close attention to this issue in the months ahead.”