Residents urged to take action on health and social care

Members of Keep Care in our Communities (KCC) are urging the public to participate in an important consultation to determine future plans for NHS health and social care in Aboyne, Deeside and Upper Donside.

By Dawn Renton
Wednesday, 15th June 2022, 6:51 am
Updated Wednesday, 15th June 2022, 6:51 am
KCC and cllr Blacket believe that Aboyne Hospital needs to remain open
KCC and cllr Blacket believe that Aboyne Hospital needs to remain open

The Aberdeenshire Health & Social Care Partnership’s (AHSCP) Strategic Needs Assessment (SNA) is open until July 8 and seeks to understand the needs of all ages in this rural and often remote community.

Founder member Paul Gibb said: “It is important you take part in the survey or you will miss the opportunity to tell the AHSCP what services are important to you, why they should continue to be available, and what might be added to complement the services they offer in the future.”

KCC recognise the limitations on hiring local resources and diminishing budgets and say that while these issues cannot be ignored as they are both crucial to the successful delivery of services, a lack of resources and a shortfall in funding should not dictate what would be the desired or optimum service provision in our remote rural communities.

Mr Gibb added: “Professionals certainly have a key role to play here, but my view as an ordinary patient is that I think that the breadth of health & social care services that they choose to offer would best serve the communities of Aboyne, Upper Deeside and Donside, if they retain and re-establish all the clinics and enhance the services on offer at Aboyne Hospital.”

The importance and provision of services will vary across different demographics; one person’s needs will be different to another. This is why it is so important that the spectrum of responses is broad; from school leavers to those who have retired, from those without regular need for access to health services to those dependent on a range of services. And even if you are young and feeling fit at the moment, you should still fill in the survey to ensure that any health needs you may have in the future will be met.

If the survey captures a broad range of service needs, it will help ensure these themes are explored further in the focus groups, and feature in the options that are presented to the Integrated Joint Board.

Aboyne, Upper Deeside & Donside Councillor Geva Blackett added: “We must all make it absolutely clear that we need Aboyne Hospital to remain open, providing in-patient care and out-patient clinics. If you live in Strathdon or Corgarff or Towie or Braemar, public transport is poor and winter weather can mean treacherous roads. We should not be expected to travel further to visit loved ones and so clinical needs must be provided locally. We lost our maternity unit, let’s make sure we don’t lose more.”

Paper copies are available for pick up and drop off at: Aboyne: Aboyne Library, Allachburn Care Home; Ballater: Ballater Clinic; Banchory: Charles Michie Pharmacy, Banchory Library, Dalvenie Gardens; Braemar: Braemar Health Centre – at Highland Games Park.

By Post: Service Point, Gordon House, Inverurie AB51 3WA

All paper copies of the survey should be returned by July 8.