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Hospital reopening hopes still on hold

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By Fiona Reid
Hospital reopening hopes still on hold

HOPES of using Moffat Hospital as a base for the town’s GP practice are dwindling amidst new information.

The matter was raised at Tuesday’s meeting of Moffat and District Community Council following sitings of builders and contractors at the site.

To avoid any speculation, community councillor Iain Macrory explained more about why there were there.

He said: “There were some some very minor works going on the reception area. The official line from the NHS is that Moffat Hospital has to be able to be opened as a hospital in the space of a few weeks, if required as an emergency facility.

“I’m well aware of the thoughts of the community about re-opening it as a cottage hospital, but that is the official line, despite whatever speculation is going about locally.”

Residents have repeatedly indicated that they would like to see their hospital used as the town’s medical hub or reopened as a convalescence home.

However, the site is part of the health board’s region-wide consultation on cottage hospitals, with a full report due to be submitted to the Joint Integration Board in September.

Community council chair Liam O’Neill previously called for Moffat’s situation to be looked at with ‘special consideration’ – but this looks unlikely as group secretary Mick Barker explained: “All of the issues to do with Moffat specifically are well understood by the Joint Integration Board, who have to make the final decision. But they are not about to make a decision unique to Moffat until they can resolve the issue of cottage hospitals in the county.

“So although we might see something in front of us that is self-evident, we have to wait on the bureaucracy process to work its way through.”

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