The future of Peterhead’s Ugie Hospital is to be determined by a new group.
The Peterhead Project Board was formally appointed at a meeting of Aberdeenshire Council and NHS Grampian’s Integration Joint Board (IJB).
It will now be tasked to look at where and how best to deliver health and social care services to the residents of the town and the surrounding area.
That could mean relocating services to the likes of the Peterhead Community Hospital and even Fraserburgh Hospital which could potentially provide additional inpatient beds. Other options being considered include the introduction of an enhanced community-based rehabilitation service and the provision of rehabilitation beds in local care homes.
The latest move comes as the future of the 111-year-old facility comes under growing scrunity by the Aberdeenshire Health and Social Care Partnership. It has made it clear that the only way to guarantee the future use of the Ugie is to invest heavily in the modernisation of the facility.
Yet when asked if the partnership should look at care homes and support them in providing additional and separated rehabilitation facilities for short-stay inpatients, 227 people strongly disagreed.
Currently providing treatment for those patients who require rehabilitation after being discharged from Aberdeen hospitals prior to returnring home, the Ugie remains popular with patients and families alike.
During the recent consultation on its future role, more than 1,800 people signed a petition calling for the Ugie to be retained. Under the agreement reached by the IJB last week, the Peterhead Project Board could ‘reposition’ service provision if office or outpatient clinical space is considered “suboptimal” at the Ugie. The IJB also agreed to continue with the public consultation.