Murdo Fraser MSP raises concerns on downgrading of PRI following 'worrying' FOI data
Scottish Conservative MSP Murdo Fraser has raised concerns about NHS Tayside downgrading Perth Royal Infirmary (PRI) after the “worrying” disclosure that the number of available beds has fallen by more than 1,700 in just three years.
The politician, who represents the Mid Scotland and Fife region, was reacting to the alarming figures released to the Scottish Conservatives through Freedom of Information, which reveal that the average number of beds at PRI has decreased from 21,098 in 2017 to 19,333 up to September 2020 – a decrease of 1,765.
Mr Fraser feels the statistics confirm what has been feared for some time – that NHS Tayside are downgrading PRI and he wants assurances from the health board that this isn’t the case.
Commenting, Mr Fraser said: “This is a worrying disclosure. PRI is a hugely important facility for the local community and this notable decrease in beds is alarming.
“The ability to have two hospitals in PRI and Ninewells in Dundee is beneficial to the residents living in Tayside. However, with beds being lost every year at PRI, its ability to treat patients is being hampered with patients potentially being shifted to Ninewells which is less convenient for rural residents.”
He continued: “There have been fears about NHS Tayside downgrading PRI for some time now, with the local Scottish Conservative MSPs previously launching an online campaign to stop the downgrading of A & E services. These latest statistics only confirm these concerns and give fuel to the overriding worry that many services at PRI are being downgraded.
“PRI has already lost maternity, paediatric, pathology and emergency surgery and yet the hospital serves one of the busiest areas of the country.
“This issue still resonates with residents in Perth and Kinross and with the release of these figures on the decrease of available beds at PRI, we need assurances from NHS Tayside that there will be no downgrading of PRI in the future.”