A PUBLIC bid has been launched to raise £100,000 to support health and care facilities in Dunbar.

A crowdfunding campaign was launched on Wednesday which looks to bring in money to ensure health and care issues in the town are covered for the future.

Councillor Paul McLennan, who represents the Dunbar and East Linton ward, is behind the campaign and plans to sit down with NHS Lothian officials in the coming weeks to identify where the money could be utilised.

That could see money spent on upgrading ward three within Belhaven Hospital or on future provision in the area.

The campaign comes less than a month after it was announced that ward two at Belhaven Hospital would close, with patients moved into a “wound-down” ward three.

The controversial decision was taken at a meeting of the East Lothian Integration Joint Board just days before Christmas.

Currently ward two has 12 beds for patients admitted by their GP or in need of respite or palliative care, while the other two wards at the hospital are home to about 20 care home beds.

Mr McLennan told the Courier: “I fundamentally disagreed with the decision to reduce the number of beds at the hospital and have been contacted by a lot of people in the community asking how they can help.

“There are various other funding initiatives across many other hospitals.

“I have had talks with the NHS, who have agreed with the initiative, and the Belhaven League of Friends, who are both supportive.

“We will be looking for people who can assist the fundraising, particularly in terms of professional fundraising, financial stewardship and experience of being trustees.”

The councillor also announced that the NHS has agreed to continue the community forum which was looking at the future of the hospital.

He added: “The NHS has agreed to continue this forum and look at wider health and care issues in the Dunbar area now and in the next 10-20 years.

“We need to ensure that any future health and care provision takes care of future population growth, particularly in our elderly population.

“I would urge people to get involved in discussions and in the fundraising initiatives.”

For more information, go to justgiving.com/crowdfunding/belhavenhospital