Calder­cruix surgery bid nets huge sup­port

Nearly 200 res­i­dents get be­hind prac­tice cam­paign

Airdrie & Coatbridge Advertiser - - News - Ian Bunt­ing

Scores of peo­ple have signed a pe­ti­tion sup­port­ing the re­turn of a reg­u­lar doc­tor’s surgery in Calder­cruix.

Al­most 200 res­i­dents have got be­hind the cam­paign to al­low Dr Ail­ish Glen – who pre­vi­ously ran the fa­cil­ity with fel­low doc­tor Sheena Jar­dine – to res­ur­rect her prac­tice four years af­ter the vil­lage’s Main Street surgery closed its doors.

Late last year NHS La­nark­shire in­formed Dr Glen, who cur­rently runs Coat­bridge’s Cen­te­nary Surgery, she would not be al­lowed to re­sume treat­ing pa­tients in Calder­cruix.

This led to vil­lagers, with the sup­port of Calder­cruix com­mu­nity coun­cil, cre­at­ing a pe­ti­tion calling for a re­ver­sal of the health board’s de­ci­sion.

Since the surgery closed in Fe­bru­ary 2014 – due to what Dr Glen claimed was NHS La­nark­shire’s re­fusal to take on a longer lease or buy the premises – Well­wynd Prac­tice has run a branch surgery from a tem­po­rary build­ing on Main Street that only opens on Tues­day morn­ings and doesn’t in­clude GP ap­point­ments.

One of the driv­ing forces be­hind the pe­ti­tion, who wished to re­main anony­mous, told the Ad­ver­tiser: “There is a real need for a res­i­dent doc­tor in Calder­cruix as there are el­derly pa­tients in the vil­lage who can’t get an ap­point­ment as soon as they’d like.

“The present ser­vice is well short of the as­sur­ances given in 2014 about a com­mit­ment to hav­ing a GP in the vil­lage.

“The ru­ral lo­ca­tion and needs of fam­i­lies, chil­dren and el­derly peo­ple who do not have trans­port un­der­line that pri­mary care ser­vices from a GP of­fer­ing ap­point­ments should be an obli­ga­tion of NHS La­nark­shire.

“Dr Glen used to be our reg­u­lar doc­tor and she was a very pop­u­lar fig­ure; it would be nice if she was al­lowed to re­sume her prac­tice.

“But she can only do that if given per­mis­sion by the NHS.

“A lot of peo­ple were in agree­ment that it would be a good idea to start up a pe­ti­tion and it took off; we’ve got around 180 sig­na­tures.

“We’ve emailed the pe­ti­tion to NHS La­nark­shire and await its re­sponse with much hope and in­ter­est.

“We hope com­mon sense pre­vails and Dr Glen is able to of­fer ap­point­ments in a per­ma­nent build­ing with nurs­ing and ad­min­is­tra­tive sup­port all ready to go.”

Dr Glen, who worked in Calder­cruix for 17 years be­fore the surgery’s clo­sure in 2014, de­clined to com­ment on the vil­lagers’ pe­ti­tion. How­ever, her hus­band Leo Lana­han, the prac­tice man­ager at Cen­te­nary Surgery, said: “Dr Glen is en­gag­ing with pa­tients and the lo­cal med­i­cal com­mit­tee that rep­re­sents doc­tors and has asked NHS La­nark­shire to re­view their de­ci­sion prevent­ing her from put­ting ap­point­ments on again in Calder­cruix.

“The health board re­cently asked GPs to open on Satur­days, so why not add to lo­cal pro­vi­sion in a ru­ral lo­ca­tion rather than al­low it to be re­stricted?

“Dr Glen has made it clear that she does not seek re­im­burse­ment of the premises’ costs in Calder­cruix from NHS La­nark­shire.”

Dr Chris Mack­in­tosh, NHS La­nark­shire’s med­i­cal di­rec­tor for pri­mary care, said: “The pri­mary care man­age­ment team dis­cussed a re­quest from Dr Glen to in­clude the ar­eas of Calder­cruix, Plains and Hil­lend within the ex­ist­ing bound­aries of her prac­tice.

“This was con­sid­ered un­der NHS reg­u­la­tions and de­clined, as there is al­ready a provider of gen­eral med­i­cal ser­vices in these ar­eas.

“The pe­ti­tion sub­mit­ted to the NHS La­nark­shire chief ex­ec­u­tive will be re­sponded to in due course.”

Look­ing to re­turn Dr Glen’s for­mer surgery

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