The demise of local in-patient care at Little Cairnie hospital and the Inchcape Unit has resulted in a plea for the community to engage with the NHS.
The League of Friends of Arbroath Infirmary are calling local people to take part in a vital engagement session which will help inform the local community of the new models of care in the area.
Graeme Dey, SNP MSP for Angus South said: “This is folks’ chance to raise any points they have and to make their views known to the relevant health and care professionals.
“The changes that are proposed, I am in no doubt, will be of great benefit to the area in the long run; however, it is important that any concerns local people have over the implementation of these are addressed.”
The wheels are in motion on key works to transform Arbroath Infirmary and see it benefit from three palliative care bedrooms- all with en suite bathrooms, a new palliative day assessment and treatment facility including two new consultation and treatment rooms, a patient lounge, a quiet room and a reception area.
Bill Nicoll, director of primary and community services at NHS Tayside, said: “Enablement works are now underway at the infirmary. The building contractor has also been appointed and will be on site this week.
“Alongside the introduction of this new community-based model of care, in partnership with Macmillan Cancer Support, we are investing in Arbroath Infirmary to improve the delivery of palliative care and older people’s care.”
Currently there are three Macmillan Community Nurse Specialists who provide much needed support at home, however the majority of patients in Arbroath have to travel to Dundee to receive in-patient palliative care.
Having locally accessible services will reduce the need to travel, which can be very uncomfortable for patients.
Macmillan’s general manager, Janice Preston, said: “Macmillan wants to ensure everyone affected by cancer in Arbroath receives the best care and in the most supportive environment. The new and improved in-patient palliative care facilities will make an enormous difference to palliative care patients and their families.
“It’s thanks to the hard work and dedication of our supporters in Arbroath who raise so much money for us that we are able to make such a significant contribution to this important project.
“We don’t want anyone to face cancer alone, and the continued support of people in Arbroath will help us make sure nobody does.”
Jacqueline Cargill, League of Friends, said: “With an ageing population in Arbroath anyone of us, or a family member, may require care in the future so we need to be aware of the changes and improvements in the health and care services.”
The engagement session is in the Old and Abbey Church from 9.30 a.m. on April 25.