Fears have been raised over the relocation of a north-east drug addiction centre to the community hospital in Fraserburgh.
The service is moving from its current base at Kessock Industrial Unit to the medical facility on Lochpots Road.
Kessock Clinic offers support to drug users from the town and surrounding area. It operates five days a week and hosts a late night service once a month.
It also offers a needle exchange service for drug users to dispose of used syringes and swap them for clean ones to reduce the transmission of blood-borne infections.
Officials from the Aberdeenshire Health and Social Care Partnership (AHSCP) said the Kessock clinic would make the switch in the “near future.”
But locals are not happy with plans for the unit to be set up at the town’s only infirmary.
One man, who does not want to be named, believes it could open up near the maternity unit and fears there will be an adverse effect on pregnant women.
He said: “There are concerns from people worried about individual patients.
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“If there is a disturbance all hell will break loose with expectant mothers running for cover.
“I can’t see this being halted, but surely there has to be somewhere else it can go.”
Fraserburgh and district councillor Brian Topping is also worried about the move to relocate the unit.
He believes the public should have been given the opportunity to voice their concerns before the decision was taken.
Mr Topping believes it will also have a negative impact on drug users.
He said: “They are going to move the needle exchange and I don’t know if this would be suitable.
“I’m all for these people getting help, but the anonymity of drug users will be at risk as well.
“I’m very saddened there hasn’t been a public consultation on it. I’m going to be raising this with the council.”
A spokeswoman from the AHSCP said there no final decision had yet been taken on the new location for the needle exchange clinic.
She said: “Whilst Kessock Clinic is moving to Fraserburgh Community Hospital in the near future which is a positive step forward, the final decision on where the needle exchange service will operate from has not yet been taken, this is for practical, rather than ‘acceptability’ reasons.”
Fraserburgh Community Hospital first opened its doors on September 27, 1968 and it celebrated its 50th anniversary with a visit from Princess Anne earlier this year.