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Call to reopen Banff minor injury unit

By Kirsty Brown

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The retention of “lifeline” local minor injuries units across the north east has been underlined by new figures.

Scottish Conservative research has shown that three local hospitals have been dealing with all routine primary care since lockdown at the end of March – Peterhead, Fraserburgh and the Jubilee in Huntly.

Banff and Buchan MP David Duguid spoke of the importance of reopening Chalmers Hospital as soon as possible, as it had 9,144 visits in the two years before lockdown alone.

And in January 2020, all MIU sites were visited 3,210 times against 3,223 in 2019 and 3,454 in 2018.

Commenting Mr Duguid said: "These figures highlight once again that minor injury units are providing a lifeline service to people across the north-east.

"I have raised concerns about the future of the minor injury unit at Chalmers Hospital in Banff and we still do not know when or if it will re-open.

"And in Turriff, the ongoing closure of the MIU has deprived people of easy access to treatment.

"With poor public transport links it can be very difficult for anyone without a car to make a journey from Banff to Peterhead or from Turriff to Huntly.

"The figures show that these MiUs were well used prior to the Covid-19 pandemic - and I am sure that would continue as and when they are reopened."

Scottish Conservative candidate for Aberdeenshire East Stewart Whyte said: “The closure of the MIU in Inverurie was a big loss to the local community and meant that many people in a rural area had to go further to seek treatment.

“This is especially difficult at evenings and weekends or when bus services are unavailable.

“According to its own NRAC formula, the SNP government shortchanged NHS Grampian to the tune of almost £240 million over the last decade, and I fear this has disadvantaged care in these settings.

“But there is no substitute for local health care.

“It’s essential that we get MIUs back up and running.”

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