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Sub-heading: Covid test centre to stay until March 2o22
By Colin Smeeton
There is growing concern Brodick Health Centre, which is currently being used as a Covid testing centre, may never re-open following the pandemic.
It was confirmed this week it will remain a testing centre until at least March next year. In the meantime, residents of Brodick and the north of the island will continue to have to travel to alternative medical centres elsewhere on the island.
The Brodick centre closed for general medical services in June last year and a concerned patient, who previously used the facility, told the Banner: ‘Brodick residents are facing difficulties going to doctor’s appointments in other villages due to the Brodick surgery being completely closed to appointments.
‘Residents have to travel to Shiskine or Lamlash. These appointments do not always fit into bus timetables and many residents do not have cars. Some are having to resort to taxis, at considerable cost.
‘If, as is being mooted, Brodick is permanently closed, surely there must be a free travel system put in place similar to the wonderful ArCaS one for those travelling to the mainland for chemotherapy and cancer treatments. Residents who need help in any way should get it.
‘There did not seem to be any consultation with any local group, to my knowledge, that Brodick would be totally inaccessible to patients. There are many elderly and infirm people who will feel helpless when asked to go to Lamlash or Shiskine. Cost and accessibility is definitely an issue, especially when their illness is taken into the equation. Who thought this was a good idea?’
When NHS Ayrshire & Arran was asked to comment, Craig McArthur, director of East Ayrshire health and social care, replied: ‘Brodick Health Centre is currently being used as the Covid-19 testing site for Arran residents.
‘The health centre was identified as the most central and accessible location on the island and has been used since June 2020 as an integral part of NHS Ayrshire & Arran’s Covid testing programme with more than 1,600 tests carried out so far. The site will continue to be used as a Covid testing centre until at least March 2022 and this will be kept under review.
‘To ensure general medical services continue to be provided to Arran residents, the GP practice sites at Lamlash and Shiskine remain open. Patients can access GP services and other healthcare professionals appropriate to their need at these two locations. The site at Whiting Bay also remains open for limited services.
‘Whilst a central location for testing, we are aware Brodick Health Centre is also the most central location for patients accessing GP and healthcare services. This will be taken into consideration as part of the GP practice remobilisation plans as we continue to phase out of the Covid pandemic.’
There was no mention of Lochranza Health Centre which only offered a limited service before the pandemic began.
The Arran Covid-19 test centre will remain at Brodick Health Centre until at least next March. NO_B35AMG01