Support for calls to reopen hospital's minor injuries unit
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A north-east community's calls to reopen its minor injuries unit has been backed by the local MSP.
Insch War Memorial Hospital closed last March to help centralise staff and resources during the Covid-19 pandemic, as did Turriff Hospital and a number of others.
Local groups such as the Friends of Insch Hospital and Bennachie Community Council have urged Aberdeenshire Health and Social Care Partnership to restore their local services.
The area’s MSP Alexander Burnett has now backed these calls for a safe reintroduction as Covid hospitalisations fall.
He has also warned against the “running down” of services following the full closure of units at Inverurie and Fleming in 2019.
Mr Burnett’s research has revealed Insch treated more than 1600 patients for minor injuries alone in the last five years.
Compared to a record high of 483 visits in 2018, however, only 61 people were treated in 2020 before the unit closed.
Mr Burnett said: “Thanks in no small part to the activities of the Friends, Insch War Memorial has continued to be a vital healthcare setting for almost 100 years.
“I was pleased to see Turriff Hospital reopen to admissions and I think it’s reasonable to expect Insch to reopen imminently.
“The importance of local hospitals has been underlined as larger healthcare settings are being used for vaccine delivery.
“Considering Aberdeenshire Council has just given health and social care a £1.45 million boost, I am asking the partnership to make that commitment now.
"Any running down of services will not be tolerated.
“The people of Insch, Strathdon, Rhynie and Alford must have this prized facility back in use.”