DELAYS COULD HAVE SERIOUS CONSEQUENCES FOR PATIENTS AND THE COMMUNITY
Argyll and Bute MSP Michael Russell has raised concerns about the progress of planned mental health unit in Argyll and Bute, following an announcement made by NHS Highland last Thursday (9th July) that the project has stalled at the early stages of the tendering process.
Proposals for the mental health unit, which is due to replace the mental health ward of Argyll and Bute Hospital in Lochgilphead, has been rejected at stage 1. The rejection means that a review of the application are now required, which could lead to a delay of up to 6 months. This additional delay comes on the back of previous announcements that completion of the unit will take place in late 2017, 5 years later than originally planned.
Commenting on the decision, Mr Russell said:
“I am concerned that the proposed mental health unit in Lochgilphead will suffer from further delays in the coming weeks. I have worked with staff and the community over the past few years to ensure that the new unit meets their needs, and they have already suffered unacceptable delays in the delivery of this vital facility.
“This latest announcement by NHS Highland brings much uncertainty for service users and staff in Argyll, putting previous commitments made by the Scottish Government and NHS Highland at risk. The current facility has been deemed unsuitable for meeting modern standards of patient care, and it is therefore imperative that the new mental health unit is operational as soon as possible.
“I will be writing to the Cabinet Secretary for Health to seek assurances that the new Mid Argyll mental health unit will go ahead as promised and that she will assist in getting it back on track.”