Patient safety is absolutely paramount in any changes to service provision. Integration authorities are legally required to engage and consult staff and patients to ensure the best outcomes for local communities. Aberdeen City partnership has extensively engaged with staff on the proposed changes and has communicated their plans to patients, assuring them that they will continue to receive medical care at the practice.
Until recently, Old Aberdeen medical practice was publicly run and it served the community well. I have met campaigners who are angry about the way that it has been put out to tender, and the previous minister ignored requests to intervene. Will the cabinet secretary agree to meet the campaigners to hear their concerns?
I will, of course, consider that request. I would say that it is often members on the Labour benches who tell us that the Government interferes and intervenes too much when it comes to local decision making, and these are local decisions to be made by local integration authorities. Now the member is asking central Government to interfere in that decision making against the best judgment of the integration authority. However, if Ms Villalba writes to me, I will, of course, consider meeting her and campaigners about what I know is an important local issue.