>> 29 June 2010

Gordon MSP, Alex Salmond and Insch Councillor, Allison Grant, have today welcomed further progress towards a new hospital for the Insch community.

Recent reports1 have confirmed that an NHS Grampian working group now believes that a new hospital for Insch could be a possibility, if residents manage to raise the bulk of construction costs. The working group, set up by NHS Grampian at Mr Salmond’s suggestion, aims to examine ways of delivering an improved hospital to residents in Insch.

It has been suggested that a lower-cost option to retain the existing buildings in any plans for a rejuvenated hospital in Insch are now being considered, and that Friends of Insch Hospital will aim to raise £1 million towards the project.

Commenting on the news and praising the work of the Friends of Insch Hospital, Mr Salmond said:

“It is important to residents in the Insch area that they have access to the best hospital facilities possible, and that every avenue is explored in order to provide this service.

“I am encouraged this week to learn that progress has been made towards a new hospital in Insch, and that cost-efficient options are being considered.

“I understand that the group is now looking at the retention and renovation of the existing hospital building, which is very welcome news. There is ample space for redevelopment on the hospital site, so this is a cost-efficient option worthy of consideration.

“It is testimony to the Friends of Insch Hospital’s hard campaigning that such options are now on the table. Judging by the commitment and zeal they have already shown to this important cause, I have every confidence in the Friends’ ability to raise the required funds for this project.”

Cllr Grant, who is also a Friend of Insch Hospital activist, added:

“Insch needs an improved hospital service, whether that means building a new hospital or not. This week’s announcement that progress is being made towards an improved hospital is great news for campaigners, who have been working tirelessly to put this issue on the radar.”

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