A north-east support service for children with mental health conditions has been closed.
The Lowit Unit, based at the Royal Aberdeen Children’s Hospital, supports children and adolescents with a range of conditions from eating disorders to autism spectrum disorders (ASD).
The unit provided both a day-care and outpatient service for children and youngsters aged five to 16-years-old.
However, NHS Grampian has now taken the decision to “temporarily” close the day-care service amid a shake-up of the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) across the north-east.
The day-care unit provided support for up to eight youngsters during school hours.
A health board spokesman confirmed the closure was part of a wider revamp and modernisation of services in the north of Scotland, which will culminate in a new regional in-patient unit opening next summer.
He said: “The Lowit unit is currently taking no new admissions into day care and this element of the Child and Adolescent Mental Health service has temporarily closed.
“All patients have comprehensive care and treatment plans in place and will continue to get support from the service. Our staff will continue to look after current and future patients as outpatients.”
An out-patient service runs at the children’s hospital and at the Young People’s Department at Royal Cornhill Hospital.
An Aberdeen MSP, and vocal supporter of autism services in the area, said he was “concerned” the public weren’t fully consulted on the issue.
Mark McDonald, MSP for Aberdeen Donside, said: “While NHS Grampian say they consulted with parents and families, there will be people who would have hoped to benefit from the services at Lowit in future who would have wished to have their say on any proposals.
“I will be writing to NHS Grampian to request an urgent meeting to discuss this issue, because I am very concerned that this could lead to a reduction in the level of service provided to children on the autistic spectrum.
“We have already seen NHS Grampian taking decisions around adult diagnostic services in relation to autism, and this latest decision does not strike me as being an enhancement of the service provision available.”
Are you a family affected by the closure? Get in touch on 01224 343224.