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Safety concerns closed disability centre; WELFARE.

Moray's only disability assessment centre was shut down due to health and safety issues, it has emerged.

The Department of Work and Pension (DWP) has closed its disability centre in Lossiemouth, leaving disabled people with a 100-mile roundtrip to Inverness to find out if they are eligible for benefits.

Now, it has been revealed that the site was shut down after a routine check showed there was no emergency escape route if there was an incident at the facility.

The centre was based at Moray Coast Medical Centre in Lossiemouth.

The Centre for Health and Disability Assessments (CHDA) is now looking for a new base in Moray, and in the meantime is offering paid taxis or home visits to carry out the assessments to determine if someone is eligible for benefits or should be working.

Moray MP Douglas Ross moved to re-assure his constituents that all efforts were being made to return the facility to the region.

He said: "Both the DWP and CHDA have apologised for any inconvenience caused and I've met with the minister, Justin Tomlinson, to discuss this and we are working to identify a suitable local replacement.

"I'm pleased the DWP have confirmed they are committed to having a replacement base nearby and I hope I can assist them in finding new accommodation as soon as possible."

A spokesman for the Centre for Health and Disability Assessment said: "We are working closely with the DWP to find an alternative assessment centre in the local area."

"We are working with the DWP to find an alternative"

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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:The Press and Journal (Aberdeen,Scotland)
Date:Jul 11, 2019
Words:259
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