Fears over closure of GMED services just weeks after opening times cut to MIU

Tess White MSP

TESS White MSP has written to health bosses amid fears over the closure of GMED services in Peterhead – just weeks after opening times were cut to the town’s minor injuries unit.

The Scottish Conservative deputy health spokesperson and North East MSP warned the removal could further risk lives in the town after concerns were raised by Peterhead Community Hospital.

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The hospital said in a letter, received by Ms White, that the MIU closure has now been compounded by the “declared intention” of GMEDS to remove their service from Peterhead, meaning there will be no overnight medical presence in the town.

GMED provides urgent primary care services for residents in Peterhead and the surrounding area during the out of hours period, including public holidays.

In a letter to Aberdeenshire Health and Social Care Partnership, North East MSP Tess White said the removal of GMEDs, coupled with opening hours being reduced at the MIU, would have “worrying implications” on out of hours urgent and primary care.

She said: “I’m hugely concerned at plans to now also close GMED services in Peterhead.

“It is not practical for patients and their families to travel more than 30 miles for a 24-hour emergency facility and I fear this move, as well as reducing the MIU’s opening hours, will put lives at risk.

“Peterhead Community Hospital is a vital community asset but it is being stripped of vital services which is why I have written to Aberdeenshire Health and Social Care Partnership to demand answers.”

In her letter to chief officer Pamela Milliken, Ms White added: “It has been brought to my attention that a decision has recently been taken to remove the GMED service from Peterhead.

“This follows the closure of the overnight minor injuries unit at Peterhead Community Hospital, meaning there will be no overnight medical access in Peterhead.

“You will recall that the continued GMED service was one of the reasons provided by the IJB for the decision to reduce MIU provision in Peterhead, the only town in Scotland with a population of over 15,000 which is more than 17 miles from a 24-hour medical facility.

“I would be grateful if you could outline the reasoning for the decision to cease the GMED service in Peterhead and whether it will be revisited by the AHSCP following the concerns raised by local clinicians.”

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