Re­build or re­fur­bish plans still on agenda say health bosses

Airdrie & Coatbridge Advertiser - - News -

The health of Mon­k­lands Hos­pi­tal has been un­der the mi­cro­scope for some time.

And as the fa­cil­ity marks its 40th birth­day, fears for its long-term fu­ture have once again come to the fore in what has proved to be a tur­bu­lent 12 months.

Last September, hun­dreds of res­i­dents turned out for a “hands around the hos­pi­tal” de­mon­stra­tion, op­pos­ing plans to “down­grade” the fa­cil­ity by re­mov­ing its trauma and or­thopaedic ser­vices.

Just weeks ago, staff ex­pressed their “dis­gust” over the de­ci­sion to move ward 24, the hos­pi­tal’s acute adult in-pa­tient psy­chi­a­try ser­vice, to Wishaw Gen­eral.

Now this lat­est blow con­cern­ing mil­lions of pounds worth of out­stand­ing re­pairs gives re­newed cause for con­cern.

How­ever, health board of­fi­cials are work­ing on pro­pos­als for a new or sub­stan­tially up­graded Mon­k­lands hos­pi­tal, and NHS La­nark­shire chief ex­ec­u­tive Calum Camp­bell in­sists that plans for the new fa­cil­ity are on track.

He said: “Clin­i­cal and man­age­rial staff are cur­rently work­ing on a busi­ness case to ei­ther re­build or fully re­fur­bish the hos­pi­tal.

“The Scot­tish Gov­ern­ment has wel­comed our pro­posal and an up­dated ini­tial agree­ment is be­ing pre­pared to seek fund­ing from the health direc­torate cap­i­tal in­vest­ment group.”

SNP politi­cians rep­re­sent­ing the two Mon­k­lands con­stituen­cies also sought to al­lay fears.

Coat­bridge & Chrys­ton MSP Ful­ton MacGre­gor said: “Mon­k­lands Hos­pi­tal is now 40 years old which will in­evitably bring its dif­fi­cul­ties as a re­sult of ad­vances in mod­ern medicine.

“There can be no com­pro­mise on pa­tient safety, how­ever, and I would like to thank once again the hard-work­ing staff at the hos­pi­tal for con­tin­u­ing to up­hold to the high­est standard the care and treat­ment given to pa­tients at Mon­k­lands.

“I look for­ward the up­com­ing pro­pos­als for a new hos­pi­tal in Mon­k­lands and will be work­ing with col­leagues in NHS La­nark­shire and the Scot­tish Gov­ern­ment to en­sure that this hap­pens as quickly as pos­si­ble.”

Neil Gray, the Air­drie & Shotts MP, echoed his party col­league’s sen­ti­ments.

He said: “Clearly the story is of con­cern, and I am keen to get re­as­sur­ances from NHS La­nark­shire that pa­tient safety has not been and will not be com­pro­mised.

“The plans for the new hos­pi­tal are well in train and I am con­fi­dent in NHS La­nark­shire de­liv­er­ing on their com­mit­ment by 2023.

“This only serves to con­firm the need for the new hos­pi­tal.”

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