Morale at ‘all time low’ at Ugie

Staff say they are stilll in the dark as to what lies ahead for the Ugie Hospital
Staff say they are stilll in the dark as to what lies ahead for the Ugie Hospital

Staff morale at Peterhead’s Ugie Hospital is at ‘an all-time low’ according to the unit’s former manager.

Margaret Morgan, who retired in December, says since January 1 this year staff have struggled with the possibility of the Ugie Hospital closing following the announcement of a review of the services being delivered by the hospital.

The Aberdeenshire Health and Social Care Partnership announced the review earlier this year, with five options being considered for the hospital.

Chair of the Integration Joint Board, Councillor Anne Stirling, said at the time: “This is an opportunity for the community to get involved in the decisions about where and how local services are provided in the future.”

A decision had been due to be made in June, but staff are still in the dark as to what lies ahead for the hospital and their jobs.

Ms Morgan said: “There has been no support or leadership during this difficult time and staff morale is at an all-time low. Several staff have left due to the uncertainty of the situation.

"Neither the manager nor staff have been replaced which has left the ward short-staffed forcing beds to be closed.

“The decision was supposed to have been made in June but no-one has received any updates about what is happening leaving staff morale at rock bottom.

“You and yours may not be affected by this today but there may come a time in the future when you need this essential service.”

Mark Simpson (Partnership Manager, North) said: “We began the process of reviewing the services that we provide at Ugie Hospital in April. We engaged with residents and service users to look at how we ensure we are providing the right services in the right place and that our service provision in Peterhead is fit for the future.

“A paper detailing the findings of the review is due to go to the next meeting of the Integration Joint Board (August 22) and further communications, to both staff and the public, will follow that meeting.

"The Ugie currently runs at one of the highest occupancy rates in Aberdeenshire and will continue to do so.”