Following on from her last meeting with the Galloway Community Hospital Action Group (GCHAG) in October 2018, South Scotland MSP Emma Harper has again met with the Action Group to follow up with points raised from the previous meeting, as well as to discuss some new issues arising such as maternity service provision within the Wigtownshire area.
At the meeting, which was attended by eight members of the Action Group including local councillor Willie Scobie, Ms Harper was able to provide an update on the work she has been carrying out both locally and in Parliament regarding the NHS in the South West of Scotland.
Commenting, Ms Harper said:
“I was pleased to have a follow up meeting with the Galloway Community Hospital Action Group as part of my continued engagement with the members. The meeting allowed me to provide the group with answers to the action points they set for me when we met in October last year.
“The topics discussed included the challenges facing the recruitment of GPs to the South West of Scotland, and I was able to provide an update regarding the Scottish Government’s ScotGEM project which will potentially see 14 new medical students being placed in Dumfries and Galloway GP practices, which is 25% of the total students taking part in the new Scottish Government programme.
“I was able to update the group on work that I know NHS Dumfries and Galloway is carrying out to attract GPs, as well as other medical professionals to the region. Additionally, I have written to NHS Dumfries and Galloway leadership to ask which services have been introduced to Galloway Community Hospital (GCH) that are provided at DGRI and Mountain Hall Treatment centre, and I will ensure the GCHAG members receive a copy of the responses as soon as I receive them.
“At the meeting, we also discussed the difficulty some patients from Wigtownshire face – such as transport and accommodation – when they make the 150 mile round trip to Dumfries for appointments. I was therefore pleased to update the group on NHSD&G’s current provision of a wide range of services directly at GCH, and proposals to include sonography and additional ophthalmic services. We also discussed the Attend Anywhere programme, which allows patients to speak to GPs, Consultants and Health Professionals online, without the physical need to be in the same room. I have agreed to ask for further information on Attend Anywhere, and possibly arrange a live demonstration of the technology.
“I look forward to continuing to work with the group in the coming months, and we have now agreed a new set of action points which I have already started working on. I would encourage any constituent who would like an update on my work, or who is looking for any advice and support, to get in touch with me at any time.”
Dr Angela Armstrong, Chair of the Galloway Community Hospital Action Group added:
“Action Group members were delighted to be able to discuss their concerns regarding local health provision with Ms.Harper, a former nurse who has an excellent understanding of health issues. We look forward to further discussions going forward.”