Perthshire Conservatives have welcomed the re-opening of the inpatient ward at Pitlochry Community Hospital but have stressed the importance of keeping it open.
Murdo Fraser MSP and Councillor John Duff were reacting to the announcement from the Perth and Kinross Health and Social Care Partnership (HSCP), which will see the ward open again to local residents after it was temporarily closed in early January, due to ‘long-standing’ staffing and recruitment difficulties.
Commenting, Mr Fraser, who represents the Mid Scotland and Fife region, said: “I very much welcome this news and I’m sure it will be met with relief by local residents. I understand that four inpatient beds will open this month, with the remaining five beds due to open in the autumn. The importance of the ward to the local community cannot be overstated.
“I was very concerned when the ward was temporarily closed back in January as it created a lot of anxiety for many Highland Perthshire residents and meant that many of them were faced with lengthy journeys if they wanted to get inpatient medical treatment.
“That is why it is vital that this ward now stays open and we will be doing all we can to ensure that this is the case.”
And Councillor Duff, who represents the Highland ward for the Scottish Conservatives, added: “It is great news that the NHS are starting to get on top of this issue and will be welcomed by residents in Highland Perthshire. Access to local health services was one of the issues I campaigned on during my re-election and I am delighted to see that the in-patient ward at Pitlochry is being opened up again.
“I will also be pressing for the other five beds to open as early as possible and no later than the autumn forecast made by the NHS and I will work with the Health and Social Care Partnership to ensure that we continue to get the staffing needed to keep the hospital and its in-patient ward open 24/7.”