NHS Highland musculoskeletal (MSK) physio service in Inverness to temporarily take up a retail unit in the Eastgate Shopping Centre – but move may mean people need to wait longer for appointments
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An important NHS Highland out-patient service is setting up home, temporarily, in Inverness city centre.
While the musculoskeletal (MSK) physio service waits for its permanent home to become available in New Craigs in 2022, it will move into a retail unit in the Eastgate Centre.
Hailing the move as an "opportunity" that takes services out of traditional healthcare settings, NHS Highland confirmed there may be an increase in waiting times.
A spokeswoman for NHS Highland said: "The musculoskeletal (MSK) physio service in Inverness is re-locating to a new, purpose designed long term home on the New Craigs Hospital site in 2022.
"The service has been temporarily located in the Raigmore Community Centre for the last few months.
"However, the team are moving out of those premises and later this month and will deliver a reduced service for 18 days until the service re-locates to a venue in the Eastgate Centre in January while their new permanent base is prepared.
"During this time services will be via Near Me, some out-patient services at Raigmore and group sessions in the community centre.
"Patients who are referred to the service will be contacted and seen on the basis of clinical priority."
She confirmed: "All patients already on the waiting list will be seen as soon as possible.
"We anticipate this may lead to an increase in waiting times and apologise for any inconvenience this may cause."
Louise Bussell, chief officer for community with NHS Highland, said: “We are pleased to confirm that the MSK physio service will have a new, permanent home in 2022. We have delivered the service from the Raigmore Community Centre for the last few months and we want to thank High Life Highland for allowing us to base our team there.
“We are currently undertaking building work on a permanent base for the service and anticipate this will be ready in early 2022, however we will have to make temporary changes before we are able to move into our permanent location.
“The use of the Eastgate centre is an exciting opportunity to deliver healthcare services within the centre which will pilot potential benefits of moving community services away from traditional healthcare settings.”