MORAY’S MP DOUGLAS ROSS has welcomed progress being made towards providing the people of Keith with a new health centre and hospital.
Mr Ross has been strongly supporting the campaign for improvements to the Keith facilities as has local MSP Richard Lochhead and regional MSP Jamie Halcro Johnston.
Now it has emerged that the Moray Integrated Joint Board (MIJB) and NHS Grampian have held discussions and will present their findings at NHS Grampian’s Asset Management Group later this month.
Mr Ross said: “With the current facilities not fit for purpose, with leaking roofs and poor access for wheelchair users, I wrote again to Pam Gowans, chief officer of Health and Social Care Moray and she has re-iterated that the facility is a high priority for NHS Grampian and a top priority for Moray.
“I was pleased to hear that the Moray Integrated Joint Board (MIJB) and NHS Grampian have been in discussion and will present their findings to NHS Grampian’s Asset Management Group later this month.
“I am, however, disappointed that no funding has been identified to take forward this initiative, and that there is still no definite timescale.”
However, Mr Ross said it was good news that Moray IJB will be seeking progress to the next stage – which will be the conclusion of a Strategic Assessment by the end of February, 2018. At that point talks with landowners could begin.
The MP also welcomed the fact that NHS Grampian and Moray Council were still working together to seek a positive outcome: “Land will be earmarked for health and community care use, which will safeguard the availability of a site to serve Keith and surrounding community, with two potential sites being discussed.
“Approving a site would be a big step forward. And although this would not progress the plans to an Initial Agreement stage of business case, it would mean that discussions with landowners could take place to agree a price for the preferred site.
“After that, it will be a case of securing money from the Scottish Government, and I hope that the SNP will act quickly to approve the go ahead for the desperately needed new facilities.
“I will continue to do all I can, working with the health care team and the local Patient Participation Group to get modern health care facilities for the people of Keith and surrounding area.
“I will also be meeting Mrs Gowans [MIJB] and Gerry Donald, Head of Property and Asset Development at NHS Grampian, in the near future.”