Scottish Conservative politicians Murdo Fraser MSP and Councillor John Duff are delighted that normal opening hours will resume at Pitlochry Community Hospital’s Minor Injury and Illness Unit (MIIU) from Monday, June 17.
The announcement, which was made by the Perth and Kinross Health and Social Care Partnership, has been warmly welcomed by Mr Fraser and Cllr Duff as it means residents will now be able to use the MIIU from 9am until 9pm on a daily basis.
The move follows a period of uncertainty at the MIIU at Pitlochry Community Hospital with it previously closing at 4.30pm on weekdays and being unavailable over certain weekends.
NHS Tayside had stated they wouldn’t be able to provide a full service for patients during May due to sickness absence and holidays and stressed this was set against a backdrop of “significant challenges” in recruiting qualified nurses.
However, the announcement that the MIIU will return to normal opening hours as from Monday has been hailed as a “very positive” move by both politicians.
Commenting, Mr Fraser, who represents the Mid Scotland and Fife region, said: “This is very welcome and positive news for all concerned. It has been an anxious time for many residents living in Highland Perthshire with the MIIU not fully functioning throughout the week due to restricted hours.
“When the MIIU at Pitlochry Community Hospital had restricted hours through the week and had been closed over some weekends it resulted in a great deal of inconvenience for many people.
“Therefore, it’s a great relief that it will be back to normal opening hours from Monday.
“I had previously raised the matter of the opening hours with Jeane Freeman, the Cabinet Secretary for Health and Sport, at the Scottish Parliament so it’s good to have a positive outcome.”
And Cllr Duff, who represents the Highland ward, added: “This is great news for Highland Perthshire. I welcome this announcement which hopefully brings and end to the community’s concerns about the availability of these services.
“I would like to thank Gordon Paterson, the new chief executive officer of the Perth and Kinross Health and Social Care Partnership, for quickly getting to grips with this and for his efforts to address the recruitment challenges we face in this area.”
Ms Freeman recently told Mr Fraser that a new care and treatment hub will be built at Pitlochry Community Hospital. The MIIU will continue to operate following this development.