Long-awaited improvements to health and social care facilities in Banchory have moved a step closer.
Aberdeenshire Health and Social Partnership (AHSCP) is embarking on the first stage of a project to provide new services in the town.
AHSCP and NHS Grampian are seeking to secure funding from the Scottish Government’s Health and Social Care Directorate through what is known as a HubCo.
Each hub packages a number of projects together in order to get the maximum benefit from each investment.
To access funding the programme board must lodge an initial agreement, which sets out why new facilities are needed, indicative costs and what primary care and social care services might be delivered from each new hub.
Calls have intensified in recent years for new health facilities in Banchory to replace the outdated medical centre at Bellfield.
AHSCP has organised a public event in the town to ask local people to prioritise how they access primary health and social care.
It will be held on Wednesday, May 1, in Banchory Guide Lodge from 3-7pm.
A similar session will take place in Ellon about facilities there the previous day.
Rhona Atkinson, chair of the Aberdeenshire Integration Joint Board (IJB) said: “This is a real opportunity for communities to be at the very heart of the design and delivery of a new health and social care hub.
“We have recently seen the opening of the Inverurie Health and Social Care Hub, which is a fantastic facility, and this is an opportunity to be involved in the development of equally wonderful facilities in your community.
“This is just the very first step in what will undoubtably be a long process, but we will keep our communities informed about progress at each step on the road.”
An online survey will be launched in the coming weeks to ensure that everyone has an opportunity to make their voices heard, even if they cannot attend the sessions.
The aim of the events is to better understand what local priorities are when accessing primary care services and views gathered from the public will be used to shape the future of local primary care services with the aim of developing purpose-built health and care facilities.
An application for funding will submitted as a package for Banchory, Danestone and Ellon.
The project will aim to deliver on the commitments set out in the NHS Grampian Capital Investment Plan to develop new facilities for the three practices.
AHSCP says there will be future engagement during the course of the project, and it is committed to ensuring that residents are kept informed at every stage of the process.