NHS Grampian has given assurances about health provision in the Chapelton of Elsick new town.
Newtonhill, Muchalls and Cammachmore Community Council heard NHS Grampian physical planning client adviser John Gill outline how the development could be provided with medical services.
Currently the area is predominantly served by the Portlethen medical centre, which has roughly 10,000 patients. By 2023 it is predicted that Chapelton of Elsick will also have 10,000 patients. Mr Gill said the new town should have a surgery with eight GPs plus support services such as physiotherapy, a dental unit, social work, etc. The new town could also have two pharmacies.
However GP surgeries are independent contractors and discussions are under way about making the transition.
Mr Gill saw the way forward as being a two-centre provision from Portlethen and the Stonehaven practices until Elsick was able to stand on its own. He also said that consideration would have to be given to extending Kincardine Community Hospital in Stonehaven.
In the meantime Portlethen medical centre is putting together an application for an extension to cope with the expansion of that town.
Mr Gill assured the community council that the first group of houses at Elsick could be supported by the Portlethen centre. Once there are 600 houses in the new town NHS Grampian would hope to see medical facilities available. This could be as simple as a community pharmacy with two consulting rooms.
By the time there are 3,600 houses Mr Gill would expect to see a medical centre. He told the community council that a new centre would cost £6m to £7m. NHS Grampian would become the outright owner.