Plans are being drawn up for the future of a Forres hospital which could be closed.
Leanchoil Hospital is currently used by NHS Grampian as an after care facility for patients from Dr Gray’s in Elgin and Aberdeen Royal Infirmary.
The Moray Integration Board is carrying out a public review of the service and will report back to the health board at the end of November.
It’s feared that the hospital is unsustainable as it costs NHS Grampian £1million a year to keep it open with only four beds in use.
Forres Community Council (FCC) is looking at further uses for the well-loved building if a decision is made to close it down.
FCC chairman Graham Hilditch wants to see it becoming run by the community if it became available on sale.
He said: “What we are planning to do is commission a feasibility study to assess the condition of the building and see what we could possibly do with it.
“I’ve had a look around it and I don’t think it is fit for purpose as a hospital, and I’d question its economic viability, as the cost of upgrading to maintain its status as a hospital would be too much.
“As a community council, we have looked at various possibilities for it, including a home for dementia patients or even as accommodation for the students of the Glasgow School of Art here in Forres.”
The hospital is also suffering from nurse staffing issues due to long-term sickness, retirement and vacancies.
Moray MP Douglas Ross was concerned about the possibility of the hospital being shut.
He said: “I was disappointed to learn from a member of the public that a meeting had been held to discuss ongoing staffing issues at Leanchoil Hospital and that imminent closure plans had been discussed.
“Given the ongoing concerns about maternity services at Dr Gray’s and the closure of the children’s ward, both due to staffing issues, it is deeply concerning to hear that one of our local cottage hospitals is also under threat.”