South of Scotland MSP Dr Aileen McLeod has visited the newly operational renal unit at Kirkcudbright Community Hospital.
A member of the Scottish Parliament’s Health Committee, Dr McLeod said: “I was delighted to have the opportunity to visit the new renal unit and have a chance to speak to patients and staff. I’m very grateful to the staff for taking the time to show me round.
“This is an excellent initiative on the part of NHS Dumfries & Galloway, bringing a vital, life-sustaining treatment much closer to patients.
“It was only through talking to staff and patients that the heavy demands that dialysis places on patients’ time really hit home. The recommended minimum is three four-hour sessions per week and, taking into account travelling time, that is a huge commitment.
“So it definitely makes sense for these services to be located as close to patients as they can be, and the new renal unit at Kirkcudbright will make a real difference to patients who would previously have had to travel to Stranraer or Dumfries for treatment.
“And it is also available for patients who require dialysis and who might want to holiday in Galloway but have been deterred by the distance they would have to travel for dialysis.
“I believe that initiatives such as this are the way forward for our community hospitals. It makes sense to use them as bases out of which more services can be delivered closer to home for many people.
“The forthcoming integration of adult health and social care services, in my opinion, makes this sort of approach even more important.”