There are growing fears that Peterhead’s Ugie Hospital is facing complete closure.
After many months of consultation, campaigners fighting to safeguard the ageing facility are now claiming a decision has been made to shut the 111-year hospital permanently.
Back in August last year, a Peterhead Project Board was formally appointed by Aberdeenshire Council and NHS Grampian’s Integration Joint Board (IJB) to investigate where and how best to deliver health and social care services to the residents of the town and the surrounding area.
The move arose as the future of the facility came under growing scrutiny by the Aberdeenshire Health and Social Care Partnership.
It made it clear that the only way to guarantee the future use of the historic Ugie is to invest heavily in the modernisation of the facility.
But while no formal announcement has been made to-date, the unit’s former manager has claimed the decision has already been taken not to invest in the Ugie and, as a result, seal its fate.
Taking to social media this week, retired rehab and enablement manager Margaret Morgan said: “Sad to report that they are closing the Ugie Hospital. I offered to fund raise to keep it open but that option wasn’t even considered.
“Staff and patients going to be moved to Summers Ward, Peterhead Hospital. That’ll mean a lot of patients won’t get transferred from Aberdeen for their rehab. Plus it’s a very different environment.”
However in response to the claims, a spokesperson for the IJB said: “A paper with recommendations for the provision of services at Ugie Hospital will come to the next meeting of the Integration Joint Board on August 28.
“All IJB papers are made available to the public one week prior to the meeting and we would encourage people to read the paper and look at the recommendations contained within it.”
Last year Mrs Morgan claimed morale at the Ugie Hospital was at an all-time low and that staff had struggled with the possibility of the unit closing following the announcement of the review of services.
Currently providing treatment for those patients who require rehabilitation after being discharged from Aberdeen hospitals prior to returning home, the Ugie remains popular with patients and families alike.
Under the proposals, there could be a relocation of services to the likes of the Peterhead Community Hospital and even Fraserburgh Hospital which could potentially provide additional inpatient beds.
Other options presented for consideration include the introduction of a new enhanced community-based rehabilitation service and the provision of rehabilitation beds in local care homes.