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Cumbernauld campaigners dub NHS care bed reforms a "disgrace"

Written by Scott Campbell.
Published at 19:34 GMT on Tuesday, July 16th, 2013.

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Picture: Four Seasons Health Care.

IN MAY, Cumbernauld Media revealed that local health campaigners were growing deeply concerned about apparent NHS plans to cut the number of continuing care and rehabilitation beds, in Cumbernauld.

On Thursday, May 16th, 2013, our story elicited that campaigners revealed that the NHS were planning to scrap twenty-five of the 35 available beds, as part of the Reshaping Care for Older People (RCOP) Programme.

The Reshaping Care for Older People (RCOP) Programme is a partnership between NHS Lanarkshire and Four Seasons’ Carrickstone Care Home, and is being taken forward by the North Lanarkshire RCOP Partnership, made up of organisations including NHS Lanarkshire, North Lanarkshire Council, Voluntary organisations - including Voluntary Action North Lanarkshire and the Voice of Experience Forum, and the independent sector, which is represented by Scottish Care and includes care homes and care at home providers.

In the same article, Cumbernauld Media announced that the cut was proposed as the partnership between the NHS and Carrickstone Care Home comes to an end, on March 31st, 2014. 

On Sunday, July 7th, 2013, in a story by Calvin Brown, it was officially revealed that the proposals were – and the details set out in our May article was correct – being developed to provide more effective care for older people in Cumbernauld, with the proposals then put out for consultation; a consultation which has now closed.

This week, however, Cumbernauld’s Labour MP has joined with local health campaigners to pour cold water over the proposals.

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Cumbernauld, Kilsyth and Kirkintilloch East MP, Gregg McClymont said: “Cumbernauld has already lost its x-ray unit as the SNP Government centralises services in Lanarkshire and the loss of hospital beds for our elderly would be another blow. Alex Neil the SNP Health Minister has intervened to protect services in his own constituency and its time the SNP stood up for Cumbernauld too”.

Officials will not make a final decision on the proposals until the end of next month, but already local campaigners have shown opposition to the proposals.

Cumbernauld Health campaigner and health board forum member, Donald Masterton branded the move “a disgrace”.

Donald said: “Senior citizens in Cumbernauld would be left deserted if this goes ahead. People shouldn’t have to be forced to move to another town in Lanarkshire to receive care.”

Billy Lees, Chair of Cumbernauld Community Forum added: “These cuts will leave older people in Cumbernauld with no residential care at the end of life and that’s completely unacceptable.”

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