Following protests last Friday at a ceremony of ‘closure’ for Tarves Surgery, local Councillor Paul Johnston was a leading member of a delegation to meet NHS Grampian CEO, Richard Carey and other officials at a meeting facilitated by Alex Salmond MSP.
“The meeting was positive” said Paul Johnston. ” We made a very powerful case to Mr Carey that NHS Grampian had to review the decision made by The Doctors review Group and endorsed by the NHS Board as it was faulted. Not only did it fail to take into account the severe local difficulties, it self evidently placed too little weight on the representations such as the warning that the practice would be forced to close a surgery. This happened and so the NHS Board have to return to the issue and reverse the dispensing decision as a matter of first order.”
The local Councillor also said that he welcomed suggestions that,as a separate issue, if the Haddo Medical Practice were financially unable to keep a surgery in Tarves, that the NHS Grampian Board would consider funding the practice to maintain a presence in the village. “This was helpful as an interim solution” said Paul.
Following the meeting, the Tarves delegation received support from Mr Salmond MSP and Richard Carey said publicly, that the decision is open to go back to the NHSG Board for re-consideration and he agreed with the suggestion from Councillor Johnston that the local Community should be allowed the opportunity of making a direct presentation of their case the board.
“There was certainly now a door open to allow the issue to be resolved and residents of both Tarves and Pitmedden are grateful for the courteous and helpful response shown by NHS Grampian” said the Councillor.
The local Community has vowed to keep up the pressure on NHS Grampian to review favourably the decision on dispensing and thanked all the local MSPs and MPs who, latterly, have acknowledged the problem and have helped to try to resolve it.
Councillor Johnston, had attended the closing ceremony of the surgery last Friday where a large crown (Part of which is pictured) watched as Susanna Bichard, a registered blind user of the surgery spoke movingly of the great service the GP practice had been given and urged the NHS to change their minds. Susanna and another local resident, Mary Bowen both summed up local pinion in saying the Community will continue to fight to re-open the surgery and have the decision reviewed on dispensing at Local surgeries.