Tarves surgery set to reopen

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Tarves folk are celebrating following a tentative decision to reopen Tarves surgery in the New Year.  Confirmation that the GP facility is set to open its doors again within weeks comes after scores of local residents gathered outside the building in September to mark its closure. Haddo Medical Group said at the time the surgery was no longer financially viable following withdrawal of dispensing by NHS Grampian.   The closure provoked an angry reaction from villagers and local politicians and a vigorous campaign has been under way to persuade health bosses to reconsider.

The commitment had come from Haddo Medical Group to reopen the facility if they could retain dispensing  and then the decision by NHS Grampian on December 4,  allowed the group to retain dispensing services at their Pitmedden surgery. The group’s practice manager Viv Tanner said that the surgery would be be open to patients early in the New Year as part of their commitment, but it was not at the previous level as funding for the provision has yet to be clarified.  She said notices had been put up at the building announcing the move, which had been welcomed by villagers.  She added: “It will be a reduced service and dates and times have still to be finalised.”

The local group of Community Councils and others set up to make the case for dispensing, siad through, Chris York . He said: “It is fantastic and just the outcome we have been fighting for. We managed to keep dispensing services in Pitmedden and the reopening of the surgery is a natural progression.”

Local politicians also hailed the decision.

Mid Formartine Councillor Paul Johnston also welcomed the decision, praising the campaigning of Tarves residents and local community council leaders.  He said that once the retention of dispensing services at Pitmedden had been secured it had been anticipated that doctors might be able to open the surgery at Tarves

MSP Alex Salmond said: “Following an effective campaign by the community, backed by local representatives, Haddo Medical Group will continue to dispense to patients from their Pitmedden practice.  I now look forward to the Tarves branch surgery reopening, in line with the commitment given to local residents. This is in the best interests of local healthcare provision and in the best interests of the community.”

Gordon MP Sir Malcolm Bruce said: “I am delighted that a long campaign by the local community has led to a really positive outcome whereby Tarves gets back its GP surgery along with its community pharmacy and Pitmedden continues to have local dispensing at the surgery.  I thank the GPs for their positive response and NHS Grampian for a carefully judged review of their previous decision.”