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Opening of new Pitlochry hospital

19/08/2008

Pitlochry's state-of-the-art community hospital was today officially opened by Health Secretary Nicola Sturgeon.

The Cabinet Secretary hailed the seven million pound development - which combines the new Pitlochry Community Hospital, a GP surgery, council social work department and a care home - as an excellent example of integrated community healthcare.

Services offered at the community hospital site include:

  • The Atholl Unit, a seven-bed specialist dementia assessment unit
  • An out-of-hours minor illness/injuries unit operating Monday to Friday from 6pm to 11pm and Saturday/Sunday/public holidays from 11am to 11pm
  • A casualty service operating Monday to Friday 8am to 6pm with GPs providing medical cover
  • Outpatients clinics for general surgery, gynaecology, orthopaedic, dietetic, speech and language, paediatric and adult audiology, orthotic, podiatry and psychiatry

The facility creates a 'one-stop shop' for healthcare in Highland Perthshire in a patient-friendly environment which makes use of the latest technology.

Ms Sturgeon, who joined Finance Secretary John Swinney and staff for the opening of the new centre, said:

"This hospital represents a new generation of community facilities designed to meet patient needs in the 21st century.

"Shifting the balance of care from the main acute hospital centres to local communities wherever it's clinically safe and sensible to do so is a key goal for the NHS in Scotland. Community hospitals have a crucial role to play here.

"I don't think we can overemphasise how important it is to people to have access to local services and to avoid the need to travel to the larger centres. It's therefore great to see a wide range of outpatient clinics and other services being delivered from a hospital in the heart of the community."

Chairman of NHS Tayside Sandy Watson said, "We are delighted that the Cabinet Secretary for Health and Wellbeing is here today to open this wonderful new facility for the people of Highland Perthshire.

"Pitlochry Community Hospital reinforces NHS Tayside's commitment to bring first-class health services right into the heart of our communities and bears testament to the hard work and dedication of all our staff.

"The NHS in Scotland has been celebrating its 60th anniversary, so it seems fitting that NHS Tayside is able to mark the anniversary with the opening of this state-of-the-art facility."

The partners in the scheme were the Atholl Medical Practice, NHS Tayside, Perth & Kinross Community Health Partnership, Perth & Kinross Council, the Scottish Ambulance Service, Balhousie Care Homes and Medical Centres Scotland (MCS).