Gordon MP voices strong support for Insch Hospital plan
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Gordon MP Richard Thomson has voiced his strong support for Insch War Memorial Hospital and the work carried out from the Friends of Insch Hospital Group towards extending the capacity at the site.
The MP was amongst those who spoke last week at an event in Insch organised by the Friends group to mark the centenary of the hospital.
Richard Thomson MP said: “I think it’s important to reflect on the fact that back in 1922 when the hospital opened it did so from public subscription.
"Now, perhaps it wasn’t all that unusual in an era before we had the National Health Service but one of the things that’s always struck me as remarkable in the north-east is the existence of the Friends of Insch Hospital group and the commitment over many years now to help to support the hospital, to support it in its role in the community, and when necessary to stand behind it and secure further commitments and where necessary to secure further investment and to put money of its own in over that time.
“So over that 100 years we’ve seen many, many changes in our world, in the local area and advances in healthcare.
"But one of the constants is the support Insch Hospital has always given to those in need of health and social care in our community.
“The importance that Insch and the surrounding community has always placed on having a local hospital to do those things, and also the community’s determination to see that continue in the future.
“We all know what a rough few years it has been coming through the pandemic and certainly healthcare has taken a hit through that time.
"We owe a debt of gratitude to those who’ve worked in our health service over that time in terms of treating us, helping us and nursing us.
“The Scottish Government in recognition of that is committing £10bn over the next decade to renewing and replacing healthcare facilities, whether that’s primary healthcare facilities or community-facing facilities like Insch Hospital.
“We can see some of that underway already with NHS Grampian in the £164m commitment going into the Baird and Anchor facilities currently being built in Aberdeen. So, there is a track record of NHS Grampian bidding-in to meet local needs and getting that support from the Scottish Government.
“With the strategic assessment which I understand has gone in from NHS Grampian in support in support of having a facility once again at Insch with beds, I very much look forward to seeing that get taken forward.
“The Health Secretary Humza Yousaf will be receiving a letter on his desk leaving him in absolutely no doubt of my personal support and commitment to ensuring that beds once again return to the facilities that are on offer at Insch Hospital.
“Having identified a need for beds at Insch Hospital – NHS Grampian have clearly identified that need – as an interim measure I think the proposal the Friends of Insch Hospital have come forward with for modular units is an absolutely fantastic one and if beds are needed now - and we all know how long capital projects can take to come to fruition - if there is an interim measure which involves high-quality modular facilities which can meet that need, then I think that’s something that NHS Grampian have a duty and a responsibility and an obligation to explore. Again, the Chief Executive of NHS Grampian will be left in no doubt as to my personal support for this.
“I think 100 years on, that commitment from the Friends is a very fitting way to honour the commitment which was made by our forebears to ensuring that a hospital was built here and to ensure that Insch and the surrounding community continues to have the healthcare support that it’s always valued, has always worked for and which it absolutely needs.”
The Friends Group have now launched a proposal to build a modular ward adjacent to the existing hospital in order to bring in-patient beds back to the area as quickly as possible.
The proposals have been sent to AHSCP and have been costed at around the £900,000 mark, with the group already having accumulated half of the figure.