Scottish Conservative politicians Liz Smith and Murdo Fraser have raised concerns over a proposal by NHS Tayside to treat stroke patients at Ninewells Hospital in Dundee rather than Perth Royal Infirmary (PRI).
The MSPs, who both represent the Mid Scotland and Fife region, feel that the move, which would see patients being treated at a new hyper-acute ‘centre of excellence’ unit in Dundee, raises more questions about the ongoing “downgrade” of services at PRI.
NHS Tayside is seeking to set up this centre in a bid to deliver the best stroke care in Scotland.
Commenting, Liz Smith said: “The immediate treatment for stroke patients is of critical importance as is the short-term rehabilitation. A centre of excellence can clearly help in that process.
“The decision will, however, raise further questions about the ongoing downgrade of Perth Royal Infirmary at a time when the demographic changes create more challenges for health care across Tayside.”
Mr Fraser added: “What is paramount in these decisions is the quality of patient care. However, that won’t stop concerns being raised locally in Perthshire about yet another service being lost from PRI and transferred to Ninewells Hospital.
“We previously saw the likes of the majority of maternity services moved from PRI to Ninewells along with paediatrics, pathology and emergency surgery.”
He continued: “There are also implications for the length of time spent travelling to Ninewells Hospital for residents who live in North and West Perthshire. This should be a serious matter for NHS Tayside to consider.”