Press Release by Mr. Michael Marra (Scottish Labour MSP for North East Scotland and Scottish Labour’s Education and Skills Spokesperson)
Michael Marra MSP Backs Brechin Healthcare Group Plans
Proposals for a new Community Healthcare centre in Brechin must receive government and NHS support or the community risks losing vital lifeline services. That is the message from North East Labour MSP Michael Marra who is backing the groups bid to take over the former Brechin Infirmary site.
The Brechin Healthcare Group is a group of community volunteers working to deliver vital health and education services in their local area. The group, already responsible for hosting a variety of services in Brechin’s Jenner Centre have developed a compelling plan to bring additional drug, mental health and sexual health services back into the community. Their plans seek to address the challenges many Brechin residents have in accessing suitable services that have been centralised in Dundee and Perth – often two or three bus trips and a day away from the community.
However, the group’s future plans are dependent upon moving to larger, more appropriate facilities. To this end the group have identified the site of the former Brechin Infirmary as the best option and have applied for a Community Asset Transfer of the site from NHS Tayside. Initially that request has been refused by the NHS Board and the group have appealed directly to the Scottish Government.
Michael Marra MSP recently met with the group to hear their proposals and in support of their plans has subsequently written to the Scottish Government looking for a solution, lodged a motion in the Scottish Parliament and is seeking a meeting with the Director of Public Health at NHS Tayside.
Commenting on the Community Asset Transfer Proposals, Michael Marra MSP said:
“The Brechin Healthcare Group are an inspiring team who have sought to help local residents access vital services that have become more and more remote over the years. Their work has continued throughout the pandemic and we owe them our sincere thanks for all their efforts.”
“The current situation, in which vital drug, sexual and mental health services are moving further and further from their communities is fundamentally unsustainable. These services require same day access. They must also be discrete and that is simply not possible if people are forced to take whole days off work or education to attend appointments that are often two or three bus trips away.”
“The Brechin Healthcare Group’s plans would see many of those services return to the local community and the decision that the Scottish Government and its Reporter reaches should be taken on the basis of how we improve access to services.”
“I believe firmly that, if the decision is made on that basis, the group will be successful in their bid to take over the Brechin Infirmary site.”