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Empty Elgin hospice enlisted to free up space at Dr Gray's

By Lorna Thompson

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ELGIN'S palliative care hospice building has been turned over to GMED while its vulnerable day-care patients are in self-isolation.

Services are suspended at The Oaks, in Elgin's Morriston Road, for the duration of the coronavirus pandemic.

As such, the presently unused building will be deployed as a temporary base for the out-of-hours GMED service, which will transfer from Dr Gray's Hospital.

The move is designed to free up space at the Dr Gray's site in preparation for any increase in coronavirus patient numbers.

A healthcare team assembled to support people in their own homes will also be based at The Oaks site.

Health and Social Care Moray (HSCM) stressed that The Oaks was not closed to allow other services to be moved in.

A decision had already been taken to suspend day care as the vulnerable patient group follow advice to self-isolate.

A spokesperson for HSCM said: "Following the suspension of day hospice services at the Oaks, the empty building will be temporarily utilised as a base for the GMED out-of-hours service, currently located on the Dr Gray’s site, and as a base for a multi-disciplinary staff team supporting patients in their own homes."

The Oaks specialist palliative care unit in Morriston Road, Elgin. Picture: Daniel Forsyth.
The Oaks specialist palliative care unit in Morriston Road, Elgin. Picture: Daniel Forsyth.

The Oaks, which opened in August 2003 after a successful campaign for a specialist palliative care unit in Moray, looks after individuals aged 18 and over who are living with cancer and non-malignant conditions. It exists to enhance patients' quality of life through specialist nursing, physiotherapy, occupational therapy, nutrition advice, and spiritual and financial support.

The GMED network handles non-emergency patients with an urgent medical condition who cannot wait until the next day to see their GP. GMED deals with around 9,000 calls a month Grampian-wide, operating between 6pm to 8am, Monday to Friday, and 24 hours at weekends.

For the latest health advice visit nhsinform.scot/coronavirus.

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