South Scotland MSP Colin Smyth and Annandale North Councillor Adam Wilson have welcomed the news that NHS Dumfries and Galloway have been able to recruit new nurses for Moffat hospital to reverse the recent decision to cut its number of beds by a third but the local politicians have expressed concern that the hospital won’t be back up at capacity until next month.

NHS Dumfries and Galloway confirmed on Friday (25 May) that a temporary cap of eight beds- down from 12- had been placed on Moffat Cottage Hospital as a result of three unfilled nurse vacancies.

It’s was the second community hospital in the region to face a cut in beds due to staff shortages with NHS Dumfries and Galloway confirming on 18 May a cut in the number of beds at Newton Stewart hospital from 22 to 14.

NHS Dumfries and Galloway today (11 July) confirmed that they had successfully recruited new nurses but they won’t take up post until mid-August.

South Scotland MSP Colin Smyth said,” I welcome the fact the NHS Dumfries and Galloway have eventually been able to recruit additional nurses, although it is frustrating that they won’t be in post until mid-August which means that the short term cut in beds of a third will have lasted nearly three months. The whole issue highlights the recruitment crisis facing our NHS when our local cottage hospitals are in such a precarious position that staff shortages mean they can lose beds at any moment. The failure by the Scottish Government to train enough staff then to impose a real terms pay cut over the past seven years has inevitably led to a situation where there are staff shortages in almost every sector from consultants to GPs and nurses. The Scottish Government have to wake up to the need to increase training places and pay our NHS staff better if we are going to avoid a repeat of this situation in the future”.

Annandale North Councillor Adam Wilson said, “Along with the local community I welcome the recruitment that has taken place. But it is unacceptable that the people of Moffat were told this was a temporary measure but this was extended to three months. I would encourage NHS Dumfries and Galloway to take every necessary step to ensure that Moffat Hospital returns to full capacity in August”.

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