Aberdeenshire Integration Joint Board agrees closure of Minor Injury Units overnight

The Aberdeenshire Integration Joint Board (IJB), which oversees the Aberdeenshire Health & Social Care Partnership (AHSCP) has agreed to the overnight closure of three Minor Injury Units to save over £700,00 this year and savings in the region of £1m each year thereafter.
Banff and Buchan MP David Duguid has sought a meeting with Aberdeenshire Health and Social Care Partnership asking for how the decision can be reviewedBanff and Buchan MP David Duguid has sought a meeting with Aberdeenshire Health and Social Care Partnership asking for how the decision can be reviewed
Banff and Buchan MP David Duguid has sought a meeting with Aberdeenshire Health and Social Care Partnership asking for how the decision can be reviewed

The Units will remain open from 7am-7pm 7 days a week.

The MIUs at Jubilee Hospital Huntly, Peterhead Community Hospital and Fraserburgh Community Hospital, currently provide nurse led care and treatment for minor injuries such as sprains and strains, suspected broken bones, cuts and grazes and minor scalds and burns.

Huntly, Peterhead and Fraserburgh hospitals are also the bases for the Out of Hours GP service (GMED) which will continue to operate overnight and at the weekends.

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Both services are accessed by calling NHS24 on 111 where a qualified call handler will triage your call and should you need to be seen will make an appointment for you at your nearest healthcare provider.

Councillor Anne Stirling, Chair of the Integration Joint Board, said: “I have asked officers to come out to the affected communities to ensure that we know how the change in opening times will impact on our communities and so that everyone knows how to access the care they need, no matter the time of the day.

“Making decisions such as this is never easy, however, we need to make significant financial savings and we must ensure good stewardship of public money going forward.

“The IJB has thoroughly investigated the data around who is going to our MIUs, when and what they are being treated for and have made the decision that, with regret, we are able to close these services overnight.

“Furthermore, we have instructed officers to ensure that there are no unintended consequences by working closely with communities and partners.”

Vice Chair of the IJB, John Tomlinson, said: “Teams from Huntly, Peterhead and Fraserburgh will be organizing public drop-in sessions to ensure everyone is aware of the services in the area that will continue ot operate through the night and they can be accessed.”

Banff and Buchan MP David Duguid said: “I’m extremely disappointed at the Integration Joint Board’s decision which will have a hugely detrimental impact on health provision in Fraserburgh, Peterhead and Huntly.

“This is the tragic consequence of substantial fundings cuts inflicted by the SNP Government on NHS Grampian.

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“People can’t time injuries and my constituents are deeply concerned that patients will now be asked to wait until the morning before being seen to.

“I have long campaigned for a return to pre-Covid MIU service levels and this decision goes in completely the opposite direction of assurances I was given previously.

“This, along with a general lack of effective communication, sends a confusing message to the public.

“I have now requested a meeting with Aberdeenshire Health and Social Care Partnership to discuss what ways this decision can be reviewed or mitigated.”

Commenting after the meeting, Integration Joint Board member Cllr Seamus Logan (SNP-Fraserburgh and District) said: “The Board’s decision to close overnight three Minor Injuries Units at Peterhead, Fraserburgh and Huntly is extremely disappointing and is a blow to these communities.

“These these services are being used appropriately by significant numbers of people every week. I also pointed out during the meeting that this move will load further pressure on services at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary Emergency Department not to mention the Scottish Ambulance Service.

“Our service users were given insufficient time to digest these proposals and to assert their rights under legislation to have their voice heard today as these cuts were only made public last week.

“A number of other proposals gave me cause for concern, in particular the possibility of a further review of our vital local hospital provision. We need to be thinking more strategically, investing in these services, extending their reach so we prevent admissions through early intervention by delivering more care in people’s homes. In other words, we need more transformative change so that our NHS is developed securely as it moves towards its centenary rather than short term measures focused on the annual race to save money.”

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