Banff councillors have called for a completely independent review into the future of minor injury unit services at a north-east hospital.
They have claimed too many questions have been left unanswered by the current health service review of Chalmers Hospital in Banff.
And local elected members, including Councillor John Cox, want a fresh study, free from the involvement of current NHS professionals.
He hopes that will better reflect the importance of the hospital to the people of Banff and the wider community.
A detailed paper containing recommendations for Chalmers Hospital and produced by the Abedeenshire Health and Social Care Partnership (AHSCP) will be unveiled next week.
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Officials have in the past said the process will not lead to the closure of the facility, but there are fears services could be downgraded or opening hours cut.
The paper will be discussed at a public drop-in information session on Wednesday, ahead of a meeting of Aberdeenshire Council’s integration joint board on August 28.
It made a decision on the future of a number of other MIUs across the region before the summer and recommended changes at a number of facilities.
The decision on Chalmers Hospital was delayed, however, due to the public response and to enable the AHSCP to collect more information.
Councillor Cox, however, is calling for a new independent review to be carried out instead.
He said: “This drop in session doesn’t leave a lot of time and we’ve been left with a lot of unanswered questions.
“They can call it a minor injury unit but Huntly’s was found to be too remote to face cuts and I think Banff is even more remote than Huntly.
“What the focus should be on is enhancing the services that are there to make it a centre of excellence instead of centralising all of the services.
“There should be an independent project board made of former professional staff no longer tied to the NHS to put forward recommendations for the facility as they understand the importance of having appropriate professionals in place 24 hours a day.”
Councillor Glen Reynolds also raised concerns that “only one side of the coin” was being presented publicly.
He said: “I do have concerns surrounding the independent nature of the evidence to be presented to the public next week, which has to address the fear that people have, rightly or wrongly, that they are not being listened too.
“The short time scales from the public event to the IJB meeting indicates that there will be little scope for consideration or a response and that is worrying.
“I would call for fresh and independent input to give people the transparency in this decision they seek. That is only fair.”
A spokeswoman for the AHSCP urged members of the public to attend the drop-in session, which will present the information collected on the types and times of attendances at the Banff MIU over a six month period.
It will be held at the Harvest Trinity Church in Banff on Wednesday August 21 from 3-7pm.