Richard Lochhead

Moray SNP News




Richard Lochhead MSP will convene a meeting of key stakeholders for talks on a ‘Move to Moray’ incentives package to attract health workers to the area.

The meeting follows Mr Lochhead’s roundtable meeting on incentives to recruit key public sector works to Moray, including consultants, GPs and teachers, where it was agreed a multi-agency taskforce would be established.  Discussions have been held since then, however, the MSP has said that recent developments at Dr Gray’s highlights the need for a greater focus on increasing the offer of support for public sector workers who could fill key vacancies in local hospitals.

One of the issues that continues to come up is the lack of suitable for housing available for GPs, health and teaching professionals relocating to Moray, and Mr Lochhead has invited local housing developers and others to the talks with public sector agencies.

The meeting will take place on Friday 23rd March, with NHS Grampian, Moray Council, and local housing developers among the organisations that will be represented.

Mr Lochhead arranged the talks ahead of a meeting of the Moray Maternity and Paediatric Liaison Committee, which the MSP is attending today at Dr Gray’s Hospital where the changes to paediatric services will be discussed.

Commenting, Mr Lochhead said:

“I previously called for the establishment of a public sector taskforce to look at how we can attract key professionals to Moray, which NHS Grampian and various agencies signed up to.

“The situation at Dr Gray’s continues to be fragile and the recent changes to paediatric services due to consultant and junior doctor shortages highlights the real need to put incentives to attract key staff at the front and centre of discussions.

“We need the community to come together to support the hospital, which is why I’m bringing together local representatives from both the public and private sector to  look at how we can up the offer for health workers coming to the area, and how we can develop a ‘Move to Moray’ package for key workers that could include housing, as well as access to leisure facilities. 

“Local management at Dr Gray’s have been made real efforts to minimise the impact of the changes and the need to transfer children to Aberdeen, and the staff on the ward have been working flat out to maintain the service.   

“However, the key point is that we need to attract more applicants to apply for vacancies at Dr Gray’s to ensure long term security for services in Elgin, and of course the idea of transforming the hospital into a centre of innovation and rural excellence is now on the agenda, following the Health Secretary’s recent visit.

“We need to explore every option to make Moray to stand out from the crowd for aspiring applicants considering where to work, and I hope that by bringing folk together we can come up with a unique offer for health workers that makes them choose a career in Moray.”