Richard Lochhead

Moray SNP News



Richard Lochhead has met with the Chief Executive of NHS Grampian, Malcolm Wright, to discuss the changes to paediatric services at Dr Gray’s due to recruitment challenges.

Mr Lochhead has been working closely with NHS Grampian bosses to put in place innovative solutions to attract consultants and doctors to work at the Elgin Hospital.  The MSP has also been in touch with the Chief Executive of NHS Education Scotland this week to get an update on their work around workforce planning for Dr Gray’s.

Speaking after his meeting with Malcolm Wright, Mr Lochhead said:

“I’ve met with the Chief Executive of NHS Grampian to seek the publication of an action plan bringing together all the measures underway to attract medical professionals, especially paediatricians and trainee doctors, to Dr Gray’s and to allow the paediatric services to be restored to a round the clock service as soon as possible.

“The current modification to the service will hopefully be only temporary but clearly this is not the first time that staff shortages have caused such problems and concern locally will continue to grow until stability is restored.

“I do welcome the efforts of local management to minimise both the impact of the changes and the need to transfer children to Aberdeen.  I also recognised that the staff have been working really hard to maintain, what in a smaller hospital, is a fragile service.

“If we overwork the staff then it would only compound a very difficult situation, so the reasons for the changes to the service are well understood and the safety of patients and welfare of the staff are paramount as they are very much interlinked.

“The key point is that we need to attract more applicants to apply for the vacancies at Dr Gray’s and accelerate the steps being taken to do just that. The publication of a clear action plan will provide the local community with the assurance this is underway.”