Deeside hospital wards saved from closure thanks to recruitment

Aboyne Hospital and Glen O’Dee will be opened after staff were recruited for the wards.

Wednesday, 3rd November 2021, 9:15 am
Updated Wednesday, 3rd November 2021, 9:15 am
MSP Alexander Burnett is 'delighted' at the news and said the wards are central to the local communities

Earlier this year, the Aberdeenshire Integration Joint Board agreed it would carry out a Strategic Needs Assessment on the futures of Aboyne Hospital and Glen O’Dee in Banchory, possibly leading to closure.

However, in an update to the Marr Area Committee, Shona Strachan, Partnership Manager for South Aberdeenshire said that the Morven ward would be opening as soon as possible.

She said: “Thankfully through the hard work and dedication of our Senior Charge Nurses and ably supported by the wider team, we have been able to recruit a number of staff to both Morven Ward at Glen O’Dee and Aboyne Community Hospital. Meaning we will be able to open both wards.

“As we start to re-open Morven there will be a period of transition where we will be unable to run both wards at full capacity whilst we ‘on board’ our new starts. We have escalated the need to get our new staff into post as soon as possible and we are hopeful that we may be able to speed that process up.

“We truly hope that this will remain stable for the coming months however we are acutely aware that with the best will in the world things can change at short notice.

"We are also very aware that this decision may increase the pressure on our staff, and we would ask you to continue to support our community teams, GP practices and the wider community throughout this winter.

Scottish Conservative MSP for Aberdeenshire West welcomed the news.

He said: “I’m delighted the senior management team have listened to local concerns about the short-term future at both Aboyne and Glen O’Dee.

“There have undoubtedly been major staffing and organisational challenges for rural healthcare, caused by Covid-19. But these wards are central to the communities they serve, and closing them in order to keep others open will not work for local people.”

Andrew Bowie MP added: “The Partnership have done the right thing keeping these vital wards staffed. They are to be congratulated for recruiting nurses at a time when capacity is stretched in most health boards."