After five years of fundraising and £1 million raised, work began this week to create a local renal dialysis unit in Stonehaven.
In 2010, the NHS Grampian Renal Unit were left a legacy of £250,000 for dialysis machines.
South Aberdeenshire was identified as being in need of a satellite renal unit, and work began to raise the money needed for the six-bed unit, which will be located adjacent to Kincardine Community Hospital in Stonehaven.
The new unit will cover a large area – from as far south as St Cyrus, over to Luthermuir and up to Fettercairn, Banchory and across to Portlethen.
Dr Ann Humphrey, associate specialist in Aberdeen Royal Infirmary’s dialysis unit and lead fundraiser for the campaign, said it was thrilling to now see construction begin.
She commented: “We have waited a long time to get to this stage. The outstanding fundraising campaign, which has seen a groundswell of goodwill from our local community, and indeed all over the Grampian region, has made this happen. I do not think there is a group in the local area who has not been involved in contributing to this campaign. The Rotary’s huge impact and continued support with their donation, to our local businesses, families and individual donations which will all go to build this wonderful facility for the people of Kincardineshire.”
The new unit will be able to treat 24 patients a week if working on a full-time basis. Initially, the unit would operate on a three-day week pattern.
Dame Anne Begg, non executive director and chair of the NHS Grampian Endowments Committee: “For the people who require renal dialysis and live across a wide geographic area south of Aberdeen, this facility in Stonehaven can’t come soon enough. At present they have a long commute into Aberdeen, often several times and week, adding time and stress to their lives which are already difficult. I am delighted that NHS Grampian’s Endowment Fund has been able to contribute in order to get this project off the ground.”
Immediate Past President of Rotary Club of Stonehaven, Billy Hunter said the club had been proud to play a leading role in the fund-raising process, but there had also been outstanding support from the wider community and other groups. He said: “This has been a major fundraising project in recent years and our members are proud to have helped deliver a local medical facility which will be of immense benefit to the people of Stonehaven and the surrounding community.”
The building contractor for the project is CHAP. Construction Director with the firm, Jim Young is keen to get started on such an important community project. He said: “We know such a lot of effort has been put into bringing this project to reality and how much it means to the community. As a local business, we’re really pleased to be involved and look forward to getting this new facility built and into operation.”