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Health bosses slammed for meeting no-go

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By Christie Breen
Dumfries and West
Health bosses slammed for meeting no-go

A WIGTOWNSHIRE action group has hit back at health bosses after they declined an invite to tomorrow’s community meeting.

The event at Stranraer’s Ryan Centre is being organised by the Galloway Community Hospital Action Group (GCHAP) to discuss the hospital’s future in response to the ongoing review of services.

But on Wednesday NHS Dumfries and Galloway announced they would not attend. A spokesperson said: “This action group meeting is focused on proposals to undertake a review of the hospital – which we set out in our Medium Term Plan 23/26 published in April 2023, and which is not something born out of immediate and well-documented financial challenges.

“As a responsible organisation, it is important we are continually monitoring and reviewing how all aspects of our services are functioning, and looking to see how they can be supported.

“This is especially true for such a key facility as Galloway Community Hospital, which everyone agrees needs to continue to serve the community – but where we need to review and consider how we best meet challenges such as recruiting and retaining staff.

“All of this has been explained to the Action Group, and discussed at one of our regular in-person meetings with them last Monday, but has not been reflected in their messaging.

“At this point in time, without a plan for the review having been drafted and agreed, and with no dispute about the importance and value of this facility, we will not be attending the event.

“We are fully committed to engaging with all stakeholders once, and if, a scope of review is established and agreed, ensuring everyone has the opportunity to contribute their views, but we are not yet at this point.”

In response, GCHAP expressed ‘disappointment’ and said: “It shows a great deal of disrespect to the people of Wigtownshire who want to tell them how much the services of the Galloway Community Hospital mean to them.

“However, all is not lost! We will compile a summary of the views of everyone in attendance and deliver it to the health board.

“The people of Wigtownshire will not be silenced.”

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