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Local MSP wants X-Ray suspenion ended and services returned

Written by Scott Campbell.
Published at 00:00 GMT on Thursday, July 21st, 2011.

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CUMBERNAULD and Kilsyth SNP MSP, Jamie Hepburn, has raised his concerns about NHS Lanarkshire’s suspension of Cumbernauld’s X-ray services.

The services, which were a hot political potato, at the Scottish elections, were closed in November 2010, for a review of the way NHS Lanarkshire spreads services.

However, Jamie Hepburn MSP has criticised NHS Lanarkshire for the on-going suspension of community radiology services in Cumbernauld and Kilsyth, in a meeting, with NHS Lanarkshire’s Chief Executive, Tim Davidson, on 27th June 2011.

A spokesperson for NHS Lanarkshire said: “As part of our ongoing review of community radiology services in Lanarkshire we have been gathering information on the usage of the x-ray services in the other x-ray facilities from the time the units in Cumbernauld and Kilsyth have no longer been in operation. This information is currently being analysed.

“We are also in discussion with officials at Scottish Government regarding the next stages of engagement for the Radiology Review. This will be to identify the next steps of the engagement process to be followed.

“The purchase of medical equipment, including radiology equipment, has to be funded from Boards’ capital allocations. The capital allocation NHS Lanarkshire received this year was significantly less than in previous years. The allocation of £19.454m has to meet all current contractual commitments including the new Airdrie Community Health Centre, which has an expected spend of £14m this year and is due for completion in June 2012.

“This leaves less than £6m which requires to be spread across investment in Monklands Hospital, ehealth, backlog maintenance, medical equipment, primary care modernisation and any other requirements that may happen unexpectedly.”

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At the meeting, the MSP expressed his concerns at the prospect of the facilities being permanently scrapped, with patients being forced to travel to Monklands for hospital appointments instead. Mr Hepburn asked that the facilities be fully reinstated with immediate effect and for their long-term future to be secured. At the meeting it was confirmed that no final decision had been taken but that such a decision might be made in the next few months.

Commenting, Jamie told that the “Scottish Government recently increased funding to NHS Lanarkshire for this financial year.” 

“Despite this radiology services remain suspended and facing an uncertain future. The extra cost, time and hassle which would be caused by forcing people from Cumbernauld and Kilsyth travel to Monklands Hospital for their X-ray appointments is simply unacceptable. Any hospital visit can be a stressful enough time without the added worry and expense of long journey.”

“I will continue to press NHS Lanarkshire to fully reinstate radiology services in Cumbernauld and Kilsyth as soon as possible.”

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