Concern raised over hospital and health centre buildings

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LANGHOLM'S Thomas Hope Hospital and health centre are among a number of NHS properties facing risks to the fabric of their buildings.

The information was revealed during a Freedom of Information request by the Scottish Conservatives to NHS Dumfries & Galloway.

The health authority's spokeswoman said the condition of their buildings was discussed at their June board meeting as part of its asset management strategy.

But Dumfriesshire MSP Oliver Mundell claims the SNP needs to get a grip on the state of many healthcare buildings in his constituency after his party's request showed many of them faced significant problems.

The scale of the problems has prompted Mr Mundell to call on the Scottish government to investigate.

The findings revealed include risks to the building fabrics at the Thomas Hope Hospital and at the health centre in Charles Street.

The health board also revealed mechanical issues at the Thomas Hope Hospital.

Mr Mundell said: "These findings reveal that there are many significant challenges facing our NHS buildings in Dumfriesshire.

"It is time for the Scottish government to investigate why there remain so many issues in the region in terms of the building fabric and with mechanical and electrical structures.

"These findings have alarmed me and I'm sure that will be the case for staff and patients as well. That is why a strategy needs to be put in place to deal with our ageing NHS buildings.

"Our NHS deserves to have the support from the SNP government to ensure our NHS buildings are of the highest standard in Dumfriesshire and entirely fit for purpose."

A spokeswoman for NHS Dumfries & Galloway said: “The board’s asset management strategy was presented to the June meeting and is publicly available.

"The document includes full details of the condition of the board’s estate and a strategy to reduce backlog maintenance by about 80 per cent through government supported investment in excess of £270m in the replacement Dumfries and Galloway Royal Infirmary, scheduled to open later this year, and the refurbishment of the Mountainhall Treatment Centre.

The five-year investment plan identifies further funding to support the clinical change programme after a locality-based review of the supporting infrastructure.”

The board's asset management strategy, in referring to the Thomas Hope Hospital, says: "The Esk Valley report sets out a vision of services which could be developed in Langholm to replace Thomas Hope Hospital.

"In 2017 we will develop a detailed business plan to set out the feasibility of delivering the new range of services to replace Thomas Hope.

"At this stage, it is assumed that a combination of private capital and housing investment grant funding will provide the capital funding for the new accommodation and this will enable the board to dispose of the Thomas Hope building by 2020."

Looking to the future, it talks of Langholm's joint care home and primary care centre proposal. This has the potential for the existing Thomas Hope building to become surplus.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017 at 3:34PM
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