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26 July 2001

Important That Community Rallys Round Chalmers Hospital Campaign

"Encouraging Discussions with Grampian Health Executives" says Stevenson

Following discussions about the future of Chalmers Hospital in Banff with Chairman of Grampian Health, Jim Roy and Chief Executive, Neil Campbell, MSP for Banff and Buchan, Stewart Stevenson commented,

"The lengthy uncertainty over the re-development of the Chalmers Hospital in Banff has been disappointing for a community which depends on this facilty. Staff have continued to provide a first class service despite the difficulties caused by the old-fashioned design and a considerable maintainance backlog. We must hope that the present level of vacancies does not grow further as morale continues to be hit.

"The timescale for key decisions about the Chalmers is now relatively short. I have been assured that we shall know where we stand by the end of October. Indications are that re-development will remain a high priority for Grampian Health but we must continue to campaign to ensure that that outcome is delivered from the present review."


Speaking about the steps which are expected after the October decision, Stevenson said,

"It is important that local people start to consider now, precisely what it is we need from our local hospital. After the principled decision to re-develop for which we presently campaign, I understand that Grampian Health will undertake a period of consultation about the services required in any new Banff facility.

"If our campaign is successful, as I expect it will be, we must avoid further delay by being able to respond rapidly to the expected consultation.

"The signs from Grampian Health's new executives are encouraging. I believe there is a willingness to listen. But we must make sure that we speak with one voice and be seen to speak for Banff."


Note:

There will be a meeting organised by Friends of Chalmers Hospital at 7.45pm tonight [Thursday] in St. Mary's Church Hall, Banff.
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