Mid-Scotland and Fife MSP’s, Murdo Fraser and Liz Smith, have blasted health bosses following news of temporary changes to the operating hours of the Minor Injury and Illness Units at Crieff and Pitlochry.
From August, both sites will operate a limited schedule following staff shortages, with the Crieff site no longer open on weekends.
Last year, the Crieff MIIU closed for several weeks as a result of staff absence but NHS Tayside officials have declined to confirm how long these new temporary changes will last.
Both Murdo and Liz believe that this latest closure is a further slap in the face for rural people across Perth and Kinross who are dealing with increasingly rationalised healthcare services.
Commenting Murdo Fraser MSP said;
“The Pitlochry MIIU is a lifeline service for people across Highland Perthshire and it is vital that its operating hours return to normal as soon as possible.
“NHS boards across Scotland are failing to recruit enough staff and the story at Pitlochry is not new.The Scottish Government have completely failed to support NHS boards in workforce planning and the brutal truth is that there aren’t enough nurses and doctors to meet demand.
“Nevertheless, this situation cannot be allowed to go on indefinitely and I am calling on NHS Tayside to put in place concrete timelines to recruit staff and return the service to normal.”
Commenting Liz Smith MSP said;
“Last year the Crieff MIIU closed temporarily as a result of staff absences and I was inundated with complaints from patients who were unable to access this vital service.
“Although this is only a partial closure it will have a big impact on local residents who are dependent on the service.
“Staff recruitment is clearly a challenge, but NHS Tayside officials have been aware of this for some time and it gets to the point where this excuse doesn’t wash.
“Rural areas of Perth and Kinross are getting the short end of the stick when it comes to NHS Tayside services and this pattern of rationalisation cannot be allowed to continue and NHS Tayside’s temporary board must get a grip of these problems.”