A CALL FOR ACTION over future upgrading of the Keith Health Centre and Hospital has so far produced no timetable from NHS Grampian and the Moray Joint Integrated Board.
Moray MP Douglas Ross has repeated his call for action over the genuine concerns expressed by campaigners – including doctors and support staff at the Health Centre.
However, Richard Lochhead MSP has said that he is satisfied with the reply he had from NHS Grampian, saying that it gives an assurance that the Health Centre was “first on the priority list”.
Both recently met with staff at the health facility and members of the Keith Patient Participation Group and subsequently wrote to NHS Grampian.
Mr Ross said: “It was very disappointing that the initial responses failed to answer very genuine concerns I was raising on behalf of the campaigners, staff and the local community. I have again contacted Pam Gowans and understand that meetings are being held with the Joint board and NHS Grampian’s Property section and more clarity on the process to progress to the next stage is being sought.
“I remain hopeful there will be some positive news to report soon and I am grateful for all the efforts that are being made to progress a new health centre and hospital which is badly needed in Keith
“I know a lot of people are greatly concerned about this and I will continue to press the case for action to deliver the new facility on behalf of the local community.”
However, Mr Lochhead indicated that he welcomed clarification provided by NHS Grampian, saying: “Following my recent meeting with health centre staff and the Patient Participation Group I made it clear to NHS Grampian that it is time for them to commit to a replacement in the interests of patients care as well as the needs of staff.
“Whilst they’re not in a position to give a timescale, it is positive that NHS Grampian and the Moray Integration Board are keen to make progress and that discussions are ongoing to identify the requirements for Keith and the surrounding area.
“If we are to deliver health care in the community and attract the best medical staff to the area we need 21st century facilities, so I’m very eager for things to progress to the next stage as soon as possible and for costs to be drawn up, as I know patients and staff are too.
“I’m due to meet with the Chief Executive of NHS Grampian in the coming weeks, with Keith Health Centre being high up the agenda, where I’ll be calling for the process to be accelerated.”