Hopes have been raised new NHS Grampian posts to work across both Aberdeen and Elgin will ease staffing concerns at Dr Gray’s Hospital.
The Moray hospital has suffered from repeated staff crises in recent years with the maternity unit currently downgraded due to long-term issues.
It is understood employment contract issues have caused issues with attempting to deploy Aberdeen-based staff to Elgin to support numbers in recent years.
However, now it is hoped five new co-location emergency medicine consultant posts will help positions where it has been difficult to recruit at Dr Gray’s.
Hopes new posts will support Dr Gray’s services
NHS Grampian has said the roles are part of a “transformation programme” in the advertisement to candidates.
Tim Eagle, leader of Moray Council’s Conservative group, who is also a candidate at next week’s Scottish Parliament election, hopes the new dual-location posts will increase access to quality staff at Dr Gray’s.
He said: “Many of us here have long been concerned with the future of services at Dr Grays, particularly maternity services which need to be restored as soon as possible, but I was also worried about the many other departments which our local communities rely on.
“We already have amazing staff working here but we want to ensure they are supported by NHS Grampian and feel a strong part of the wider NHS Grampian team.
“It is vitally important to me and to Moray that Dr Gray’s remains a fully accessible hospital with the range of essential services we all need.
“I hope this is the beginning of many other opportunities across a range of departments which will ensure Dr Gray’s is protected and enhanced for the future with a positive working relationship across NHS Grampian services and within our local communities.”
Staffing revamp underway at Dr Gray’s
Dr Gray’s Hospital in Elgin is undergoing a major staff transformation to ensure the unit is less dependent on junior doctor recruitment.
The move has affected the maternity department, which was temporarily downgraded nearly three years ago due to a staff shortage.
An independent review is currently underway to examine how the unit can be restored to full strength.
New structures have been drawn up elsewhere in the hospital to ensure specialised staff are able to work across different departments.
The new co-location emergency department consultant posts will involve working at Dr Gray’s, Aberdeen Royal Infirmary and the Royal Aberdeen Children’s Hospital.
In a job advertisement, NHS Grampian explained staff would have the opportunity to develop specialist skills for each facility.
It adds: “This recruitment drive will increase our consultant teams with not only an opportunity to be part of a busy tertiary level major trauma centre but also to work in a district general hospital between Aberdeen and Inverness.
“Across all sites we have a modern teaching capacity with further educational and conference facilities located in centres available to all successful candidates. There is an expectation that you will participate in a regional governance and teaching programmes.
“This post will allow the successful candidate the opportunity to develop individual interests pertinent to the local facility.”
NHS Grampian declined to comment further.