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Councillor quits Aberdeenshire IJB due to concerns she has about future of Banchory hospital

Banchory and Mid-Deeside councillor Ann Ross. Photo: DCT Media

A councillor has quit the board of Aberdeenshire Health and Social Care Partnership amid concerns she has about the future of services at a Banchory hospital.

Ann Ross served on the integrated joint board, which is a partnership between NHS Grampian and Aberdeenshire Council, for four years.

However, the Conservative councillor for Banchory and Mid-Deeside has now resigned from the committee – arguing staying on the board was “incompatible” with her attempts to represent local views.

What are the Banchory concerns?

In the early days of the coronavirus pandemic in March 2020 a decision was taken to temporarily mothball Aboyne Hospital to consolidate staff and services at Glen O’Dee Hospital in Banchory.

Throughout the pandemic, the Banchory hospital has continued to deliver a bed-based service for the area with out-patient services resuming in Aboyne when possible.

In-patient care was then temporarily moved from Banchory to Aboyne earlier this year to allow renovations to take place.

It is now understood a decision will be taken in the coming days about which hospital will be used to make it through the winter.

Banchory High Street.
Banchory High Street. Photo: DCT Media

However, no permanent decision is due to be made about healthcare in Deeside in the coming months with a strategic review commissioned in July and due to continue through next year.

Mrs Ross said: “The IJB has a crucial role in co-ordinating health and social care. That is an arduous responsibility and I am proud to have helped shape policy.

“But there are mounting concerns about what will happen with Banchory’s hospital, which the community are entitled to have heard.

“I felt staying on the board was incompatible with representing their worries.”

Mrs Ross said she also had concerns about deaths in Aberdeenshire care homes during the Covid pandemic and wanted to represent local views at the upcoming public inquiry.

Aberdeenshire Health and Social Care Partnership has been contacted to comment.

Mrs Ross has been replaced by East Garioch councillor David Keating as the Conservative representative on the Aberdeenshire IJB.

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