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Stracathro Hospital offers more operation slots and free bus transport to NHS Grampian patients

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An Angus hospital is offering more operation slots to NHS Grampian patients in an effort to cut waiting times.

Patients travelling to Stracathro Hospital near Brechin will also be offered free transport on buses running several times a day.

The health board said the aim was to reduce delays for patients waiting for elective operations.

Paul Bachoo, medical director for acute care, said: “They are not obliged to use the transport and can make their own arrangements if they wish.

“Feedback from Grampian patients who have had their procedures carried out at Stracathro is very positive.”

NHS Grampian patients are already being treated at the facility, mainly as day cases.

However, more people undergoing surgery for less serious conditions will now be offered operations at the hospital.

Mr Bachoo said: “The move means patients are far less likely to experience postponements to their procedures as emergency cases, which can disrupt surgery timetables, are not dealt with at Stracathro.

“Likewise, at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary, those with critical conditions requiring urgent complex surgery will be more able to receive this in a timely manner as a result.”

Buses will run between the two hospitals from September 30.

North East Labour MSP Lewis Macdonald said: “Anything the NHS does to reduce waiting times for patients has to be welcomed.

“Many people will be more comfortable if they have to travel to Stracathro rather than to towns and cities further away.”

Scottish Conservative MP for Angus Kirstene Hair said: “Stracathro has a fantastic reputation for its standard of care and calm, relaxed atmosphere.

“So long as this arrangement strengthens and consolidates the surgery suite at Stracathro, I am all for it. For too long, the residents of my constituency have been sent miles away for certain kinds of care.”

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