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Lawson plans to go on public display

By SPP Reporter

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The Lawson Memorial Hospital in Golspie
The Lawson Memorial Hospital in Golspie

PLANS for an extensive re-structuring of Sutherland’s 11-bed cottage hospital are to go on display in the near future.

And users of NHS services are being asked for their views on the proposed changes to the Lawson Memorial Hospital in Golspie.

A busy district hospital, the Lawson offers daycase surgery, a minor injury service, clinics and an out-of-hours emergency service as well as physiotherapy and occupational therapy. It also has an X-ray facility.

The re-vamp has been triggered by the dilapidated condition of the existing flat-roofed extension housing the outpatient department.

It’s considered to be no longer fit for purpose and is in line for demolition.

Managers now want to re-locate the outpatient department to the inpatient area.

The Lawson currently has 11 beds in two small wards as well as individual rooms.

These inpatient beds would move to the 14-bed Cambusavie Unit, presently a Care of the Elderly Medical and Rehabilitation unit located next door to the Lawson.

The plans have been exhaustively discussed at meetings of the Lawson Site Community Improvement Group which includes representatives from community councils, Highland Council, the Lawson Memorial League of Friends and the Friends of Cambusavie.

Dr Janet Mair, NHS Clinical Lead for Sutherland said at a recent meeting: “From a staffing and cost point of view, this does make a lot of sense.”

NHS district manager for Sutherland, Ross Mackenzie, revealed that plans were moving forward.

“We’ll be looking at the detail around where rooms will be and the general lay-out of the building,” he explained.

“Building warrants will need to be applied for and we will also need to identify the funding needed.”

But Mr Mackenzie indicated that the details were not set in stone and there would still be room for amendment.

“We will continue discussing this with staff and the local community, taking on board feedback,” he said.

Managers have agreed that the plans and other relevant information will be put on display at both the Lawson and the Cambusavie unit. Suggestion boxes will also be available to allow service users to comment on the proposals.

A presentation on the changes is likely to be made to a future meeting East Sutherland and Edderton Ward Forum.

The next meeting of Lawson Site Community Improvement Group is on 4th July.

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