CAMPAIGNERS are celebrating following a decision to reopen Tarves surgery in the New Year.
Confirmation that the GP facility is set to open its doors again within weeks comes after scores of local residents gathered outside the building in September to mark its closure.
Haddo Medical Group said at the time the surgery was no longer financially viable.
The closure provoked an angry reaction from villagers and local politicians and a vigorous campaign has been under way to persuade health bosses to reconsider.
The commitment from Haddo Medical Group to reopen the facility follows the decision by NHS Grampian on December 4, which allowed the group to retain dispensing services at their Pitmedden practice.
The group’s practice manager Viv Tanner told the Times that the surgery is set to be open to patients early in the New Year.
She said notices had been put up at the building announcing the move, which had been welcomed by villagers.
She added: “It will be a reduced service and dates and times have still to be finalised.”
Tarves resident Chris York was delighted with the news.
He said: “It is fantastic and just the outcome we have been fighting for.
“We managed to keep dispensing services in Pitmedden and the reopening of the surgery is a natural progression.”
Local politicians also hailed the decision.
East Aberdeenshire MSP Alex Salmond said: “Following an effective campaign by the community, backed by local representatives, Haddo Medical Group will continue to dispense to patients from their Pitmedden practice.
“I now look forward to the Tarves branch surgery reopening, in line with the commitment given to local residents. This is in the best interests of local healthcare provision and in the best interests of the community.”
The First Minister added: “Since the Health Board’s decision, I have contacted Haddo Medical Group, who have welcomed the sensible and positive outcome.
“Though there remain some logistical issues to resolve, Haddo Medical Group has given assurances that there will be a service recommencing in Tarves branch surgery, realistically at the start of February.
“At the meeting I had with NHS officials and community representatives in September, a commitment was made to finding a solution by the end of the year. This commitment has been honoured by all parties involved in discussions, and the residents of Tarves can look forward to the restoration of healthcare services in the New Year.”
Gordon MP Sir Malcolm Bruce said: “I am delighted that a long drawn out campaign by the local community has led to a really positive outcome whereby Tarves gets back its GP surgery along with its community pharmacy and Pitmedden continues to have local dispensing at the surgery.
“This is the well deserved outcome of a well conducted and determined local campaign, which began three years ago. I thank the GPs for their positive response and NHS Grampian for a carefully judged review of their previous decision.”
Mid Formartine Councillor Paul Johnston also welcomed the decision, praising the campaigning of Tarves residents and local community council leaders.
He said that once the retention of dispensing services at Pitmedden had been secured it had been anticipated that doctors might be able to open the surgery at Tarves.