NHS Grampian refuse to budge over Moray neurological cover

Douglas Ross - appeal to NHS Grampian was brushed aside.
Douglas Ross – appeal to NHS Grampian was brushed aside.

NHS GRAMPIAN HAS refused to make any changes to Neurological services in Moray where only one doctor and one specialist nurse available – both on a part-time basis.

A request for a new look at the provision for patients – in particular those suffering from Parkinson’s – came from Douglas Ross MSP, who following approaches by constituents wrote to the health service seeking clarification and a face to face meeting with the Chief Executive.

However, in a reply to his request the Chief Executive said that a medical consultant had resigned and another member of staff was going on a year-long sabbatical – and efforts to fill the gaps left have been unsuccessful.

“Given the importance of such services to patients locally and the impact and stress which travelling further afield can cause, I wrote to Malcolm Wright, the Chief Executive of NHS Grampian, about the current provision locally, as well as seeking an update on what is being done, if anything, to recruit replacement staff for Dr Gray’s in Elgin,” the MSP said.

He continued: “These services provided locally can be a valuable lifeline for patients, in particular those who suffer from Parkinson’s who can face considerable daily challenges to their routine. The travel alone throughout Grampian for treatment or follow-up appointments can have a very negative effect on their ongoing health and wellbeing.

“Whilst I welcome the assurance given that there are no current plans to decrease or remove neurological services from Moray, I am greatly disappointed that NHS Grampian have so far made little progress in filling these vital staff positions and would call on the Chief Executive to ensure that all options are considered to try and fill these posts.

“I’m also disappointed that the Chief Executive of the Heath Board has refused to meet me personally about this. It is a vital issue for patients and their families and his failure to meet with me about this topic and the fact that he issued an identical letter in response to the Director of Parkinson’s UK as he did to me, gives the impression that this is not a matter which is being treated with the seriousness it requires.

“It does little to demonstrate that concerns raised by constituents are taken seriously when a standard response has clearly been issued. I will continue to champion the needs of patients locally to ensure that they receive the appropriate levels of service and would urge the Chief Executive to heed the voices of those in Moray.

“I understand NHS Grampian are planning a review of current arrangements on a Grampian-wide basis, a review that I will follow closely to ensure that the views of patients and their support groups are given due consideration.”

Katherine Crawford, who is the Scotland Director for Parkinson’s UK, added “We welcome Mr Ross’s intervention in highlighting the issues raised by people living with Parkinson’s and we urge NHS Grampian to act quickly and appropriately to ensure that suitably qualified professionals are found to continue to provide these much needed services.”