Borders politicians have expressed their concern at the possibility that laundry facilities at the Borders General Hospital are to close.
NHS Scotland’s National Laundry Programme Board recently conducted a national review which earmarked facilities for closure.
The Board’s review set out technical recommendations, one of which was not to include maintaining a full production laundry on the Borders General Hospital site.
It is understood that NHS Borders specifically requested the option of maintaining the laundry located at the Borders General Hospital irrespective of where other laundries were located across Scotland.
NHS Borders has claimed that the recommendation has to be further considered, with the final decision timetable still unclear. Staff at the BGH have been made aware of the development.
Rachael Hamilton MSP and John Lamont MP believe the service should be based in the Borders and the centralisation of laundry services avoided entirely.
Ettrick, Roxburgh and Berwickshire MSP, Rachael Hamilton said:
“This is worrying news coming from NHS Scotland and there is considerable concern over the decision.
“The Scottish NHS is underfunded by the SNP Government and that leads to pressure on vital services, however this decision to cut laundries is ill-advised.
“Hospitals must have to clean a massive amount of bedding and other clothing every day, and in the current climate, we need to have the facilities ready to potentially deal with the spread of disease”.
Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk MP, John Lamont said:
“The laundry at the Borders General could become another victim of NHS cuts due to an SNP Government failing to properly resource our health service.
“We need clarity from NHS Borders, who are ultimately going to make the final decision on the closure, sooner rather than later”.
“I am concerned at the possible impact it will have on staff and the daily operation of the hospital.
“It is a worrying time for the staff who are employed to operate the vital service”.