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Call to reopen Moffat community hospital

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By Fiona Reid
Moffat
Call to reopen Moffat community hospital

COUNCILLORS will next week call for Moffat's community hospital to be reopened “as a matter of urgency” to help the bed-blocking crisis.

Independent councillor Willie Scobie will table a motion calling for action to ease the pressure on Dumfries and Galloway Royal Infirmary.

His proposal is seconded by independent councillor Dougie Campbell.

Community hospitals in Langholm, Moffat, Kirkcudbright and Newton Stewart were mothballed in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

But it looks unlikely that NHS Dumfries and Galloway will reopen the facilities due to staffing shortages.

Chief executive Jeff Ace, responded to the motion, saying: “Over the last few months, unfortunately our Health and Social Care Partnership (HSCP) has routinely seen more than 100 people across our hospital estate who no longer require hospital care, but who cannot be safely discharged due to a lack of social care support.

“This is particularly the case within our open cottage hospitals where regularly two thirds of beds are occupied by patients ready for discharge but unable to go home or to a more homely setting.

“To try to bridge some of the capacity gap in social care, the HSCP has been trying to strengthen our community health teams to allow them to support more people at home.

“Staff who were previously employed in the four closed cottage hospitals are amongst those working in these roles and these teams can support significant numbers of individuals to live at home.

“If the HSCP was to reopen the four closed cottage hospitals at the moment, it would be required to redeploy these staff back to an inpatient setting on 24/7 rotas.

“This would mean they could care for only around half as many patients as they are currently supporting at home. The net effect would be a reduction in our care capacity and a further increase in the level of delayed discharges.”

A cheers to the campaign

A cheers to the campaign

SUSTAINABILTY and whisky were the topics of conversation at Moffat Distillery this week when Scottish Greens co-leader Patrick Harvie visited the town.

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