Fears for PRI as service faces axe

Campaigners claim Perth Royal Infirmary is under threat once more after the new plans were announced by NHS Tayside.
Campaigners claim Perth Royal Infirmary is under threat once more after the new plans were announced by NHS Tayside.

NEW FEARS have been raised over the future of services at Perth Royal Infirmary following the announcement of fresh cuts to emergency surgery.

In 2010 campaigners said the removal of weekend emergency surgery from the hospital was a “cut too far”.

Now, however, NHS Tayside has announced new plans following a review.

The Friday service is set to be axed, with patients transferred to Ninewells Hospital in Dundee instead.

PRI will retain 24-hour surgical cover, but the changes could see hundreds of patients a year having to travel further for vital care.

The health board is facing questions from politicians who have campaigned against the “death by a thousand cuts” of emergency care at the hospital. They believe the additional journey time to Dundee for emergency surgical treatment could, in some cases, be the difference between life and death.

They are seeking urgent meetings with health board chiefs to discuss the hospital’s future direction.

NHS Tayside is confident the increasing divergence between the range of services offered by the two hospitals will benefit patients.

Its intention is to create a specialist surgical unit in Perth, taking in patients from across Tayside, while Ninewells increasingly deals with emergencies.

Associate medical director Dr John Colvin said freeing up doctors and surgeons would enable an increasing number of planned surgical procedures to take place in the city.

mmackay@thecourier.co.uk

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