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At their meeting in Elgin yesterday, Thursday 1 August, the Board of NHS Grampian confirmed their aim for Dr Gray’s to function within a network of services in Grampian and the North of Scotland.
The Board supported an approach to “redefine what should be delivered for patients to maximise the potential of Dr Gray’s”. This will be taken forward by a transformation board to help deliver the changes following the Health Board meeting, which was held at the Alexander Graham Bell Centre.
Pam Gowans, who is Executive Lead for Dr Gray’s and Chief Officer For Health & Social Care Moray, said the ambition is for Dr Gray’s to become the benchmark for smaller hospitals.
“Our enthusiastic, dedicated staff is willing to embrace change to deliver as much care as we can at the hospital and in communities across Moray.
“Lessons have been learned from the staffing challenges we’ve faced over the last couple of years. We know we need to get on the front foot if we are avoid those difficulties in the future and, at their heart, that’s what these plans are about.
“We also know just how important it is that our community is involved right from the start which is why we will be ensuring that members of the public are represented, along with our staff as part of the transformation board.”
The Dr Gray’s transformation board is expected to meet at the end of August and will look to build stronger links within a network of hospitals across Grampian and Highland.
Dr Jamie Hogg, Clinical Director for Dr Gray’s Hospital, said: “This is an exciting step forwards for Dr Gray’s and one that will be welcomed across Moray. We’ve been working on our vision for the hospital over the last few months and that’s included learning from elsewhere in the UK.
“Around 4 in every 5 small hospitals surveyed in one report faced very similar issues to our own including difficulty in ensuring junior doctor cover and a heavy dependence on expensive, temporary locum staff.
“It’s really clear that the traditional hospital model of completely separate, independent specialities working on their own is not going to be fit for the future of our hospital. Continuing to work in collaboration with our fantastic staff and with the addition of new professionals across the organisation, will help us future-proof and maintain a safe and sustainable service for our patients here in Moray.”
Moray MP Douglas Ross welcomed the announcement, saying: “I understand that the aim is for Dr Gray’s to become the benchmark for smaller hospitals and to deliver as much care as possible at the hospital and in communities across Moray.
“This is a positive move and a welcome endorsement that Dr Gray’s Hospital is being seen as an important part of NHS Grampian’s plans for the future.”