The extent to which the north and north-east’s hospitals are falling behind the rest of Scotland has been laid bare in a new report.
A new Scottish Government document has revealed the state of the NHS’s assets across the country.
It showed that two-thirds of the medical buildings in Grampian are in good physical condition – ranked either A or B – with the rest either “requiring investment” or unsatisfactory.
This dropped to 37% in the Highlands and just 25% in Orkney.
The NHS has 202 hospitals across the country, and 72% of these were categorised as A or B. A quarter were ranked C while 3% were given Ds.
Above this average included Tayside, with 95% of its facilities in good condition and Borders which had 98%.
However many of the northern health boards have explained the low numbers, saying they are expecting increases in the very near future through the opening of new hospitals and refurbishment of others.
Health Secretary Jeane Freeman said: “This report finds that there is a high level of satisfaction with the hospital environment, with most NHS buildings in a good condition, and that boards are making steady progress in reducing the level of backlog maintenance across their estates.”
Over the next five years, NHS boards are expected to invest £3.34 billion in building upgrades.
Ms Freeman added: “Sustained investment in facilities, equipment and vehicles is vital to ensure that Scotland’s health service can continue to provide a high standard of care.
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“In our forthcoming capital investment strategy, which will be brought to parliament before the end of the financial year, we’ll set out the further steps that we will take.”
An NHS Grampian spokeswoman said: “The current property portfolio varies considerably in condition and functional suitability.
“This is principally due to the age of our buildings.
“We are investing significantly in new facilities, such as Foresterhill Health Centre, Inverurie Health & Care Hub and the forthcoming Baird Family Hospital and Anchor Centre.”
NHS Highland said it is in the process of replacing two hospitals on Skye and a further two on Strathspey.
It has also highlighted “significant” refurbishments to some parts of Raigmore Hospital in Inverness.
Meanwhile NHS Orkney’s head of facilities, Malcolm Colquhoun, said: “The new hospital and health care building in Kirkwall will open next year and will include two GP practices and dental services.
“This will allow us to remove the existing Balfour Hospital building from the estates as well as a number other office buildings.
“We have been in discussions with the local council to see where opportunities may exist to share buildings or to possibly invest in new facilities where necessary.”